In the past few days, Jamie's walking has really taken off. (I am so glad I don't mean that literally. A mobile baby is hard enough to deal with. A flying baby? Let's not even go there.) He's been able to stagger a few steps by himself for the past couple of months (in fact, I can remember the precise date of his first independent steps - November 7th, a couple of weeks before his first birthday and the day before we moved house. I listened to his grandparents enthusing over him as I packed dishes into boxes across the hall.) But, although he's become slightly more willing to do so as time goes by, he's not been too keen on that method of locomotion and has much preferred crawling.
Barry has been urging him at every opportunity to try walking (an endeavour in which I did not join him - quite apart from the whole I-will-allow-my-child-to-achieve-at-his-own-unpressured-pace philosophy, I really couldn't see the point of being in a rush for him to increase the speed with which he can dash towards things he's not supposed to have), but it didn't make much difference. His standing improved gradually but noticeably over this time, to the point where he can now not only stand alone for several seconds but can actually bend down to pick something up and then straighten up again (I know all the baby books tell me that this is going to happen around now, but it seems so amazing when it's your own wobbly-legged infant doing it), but he hasn't really been walking beyond the occasional couple of steps. His former record was six steps on his birthday when encouraged by the collective cheering squad of both sides of his extended family, but he didn't show any immediate inclination to repeat that.
However, it now seems he's decided he's ready. He's still more of a crawler than a walker, but in the past few days he's shown much more inclination to practice his toddling, and he's been taking a lot more steps in one go. Good job we've got the walking reins that a neighbour of my in-laws passed on to us, because I really don't think it'll be too much longer before we need them.
The downside of this is that his sleeping pattern has been all over the place. One of the interesting things about babies that I didn't realise until I had one is that developmental milestones can send their sleep to hell in a handbasket. You know how it feels when you're involved in some kind of big project and all hyped up with working on it to the point that, at night, you can't switch off and fall asleep? Did you know that happened to babies as well? Uh-huh.
Even this has its silver lining - yesterday, he was tired enough after a couple of late nights and poor naps that he conked out for a totally unexpected morning nap, thus giving me a blissful and much-needed break and accounting for the appearance of my second blog post of the day. However, it does mean that not only is it difficult getting him to sleep right now, but he's also showing the effects of overtiredness during the day. So, he is now living up to the 'toddler' designation not only in the literal sense, but also by fulfilling the reputation for being a moody little so-and-so.
Ah, well. This too shall pass. Which is just as well, because to keep up with an increasingly mobile version of the child I already have, I think I'm going to need all the sleep I can get.