3 under 3: Stepping out

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Amy Condon is a mum to 3 kids, who are all under 3! Yes, you heard us right. Each week she tells us all about the ups and downs of bringing up 3 children so close in age. This installment is about her little ones learning to walk...

'Last week, my baby was threatening to turn into a chatterbox, but this week instead of talk watch, we're on walk watch. At just under 10 months, M has graduated from cruising to suddenly being able to let go of the furniture and stand there for a good 10 seconds. According to their baby books, the twins started doing that about two or three weeks before they started to walk, so we're all on alert. I want those first steps on tape. I have a lovely video of T having just started to toddle. To this day, it makes me go all weepy. But what makes me really tearful is the knowledge that I don't have an equivalent one of G.

I have always been careful to treat my girls equally, but equal doesn't mean the same. They are two peas from polar opposite pods. Crazy, fun-loving, act-first-think-later little T is Mummy's clone. She runs headfirst into every experience, learning along the way from her bumps and bruises. But G is Daddy's double. She can be loud, that's for sure, but she's also more thoughtful, cautious and sensitive. She likes to know how to do something exactly right before she sets off and does it. Learning to walk was typical. T did it first, at just over 11 months. Over the next few weeks and months, she built up her toddling skills, falling over, yes, but picking herself off and dusting herself off. So she was easy to catch on tape, looking ridiculously cute as she wobbled from Mummy to Daddy and back again. G took those magic first steps just a week after her sister, and then... nothing. She simply couldn't be persuaded to walk on demand. Save for a few spontaneous test toddles of two or three steps, she went back to crawling and stayed there. Weeks, then months went by, until, just when I was starting to worry, she let go of the sofa and walked across the room. She never looked back.

I love her independent nature and I have to admire her control and patience (qualities T and I rather lack), but her stubbornness means the first record I have of her walking is at 14 months. Don't get me wrong, that video makes me cry too, but I wish there was a real ‘first steps' one. So, M is under constant surveillance. So far, she's proved to be T's double in most ways, so I'm hoping she provides a suitable video camera moment. After all, she's growing up so fast. It's less than two years since I took the twins' toddling tapes, but I can hardly recognise those babies in the whirlwind young ladies I have now. Despite the niggling broodiness and clucky urges, M will be my last baby, and I plan on soaking up every last moment of her wide-eyed, trusting innocence. It won't be long before she's a cheeky, fast-talking, running, jumping, bouncing big girl too. And then I'll just have to concentrate on keeping up.'

Amy's other blog posts...


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