Kiwi is 13 months: Always on the move

The other day, Kiwi sat at her high chair with a washable marker clutched in one fist. Using wide, sweeping motions, she moved her entire body to cover the paper in bright stripes. Her coloring was like an energetic dance—and that is how she approaches everything.

If she’s awake, my 13-month-old is moving.

This 13 month old cheered on Team USA during the Olympics! Ten Thousand Hour MamaNow that this toddler can walk, she loves the splash pad all summer long!Now that she's mobile, the beach is even more fun for this toddler. Ten Thousand Hour MamaThe beach is full of fun—and opportunities to dig sand!—for toddlers. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Kiwi is 12 months old: Leading me

Not long ago, Peeper came home from gymnastics. She ran into the bedroom, where I was changing Kiwi’s diaper.

“We learned frog jumps!” Peeper exclaimed—and began bouncing up and down, landing with her hands between her feet.

Kiwi squealed. She rolled over. Coming up to her knees, she started to bounce, too.

The two sisters laughed and jumped like frogs and laughed some more, all the while watching each other.

That little scene perfectly shows the core of Kiwi’s personality—her exuberance. She is so in love with life.

At 12 months old, my baby (wait, toddler?!) is the one leading me! Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Kiwi is 11 months

11 month old baby bruises

If my kid is covered in bruises, please don’t worry. It’s just that her ambitions are outpacing her motor skills.

There was one week when Kiwi had several bruises on her head, a goose egg above her eye and a gash on her gums. She had taken several headers, pulled both a chair and and end table on top of herself, and slipped in the tub—twice. All the bonks made me feel terrible, but it’s hard to rein in an 11-month-old baby who is set on cruising and climbing. Read more

How to take your toddler for a hike

As all parents know, doing anything with a child automatically bumps it up into a new category of difficulty.

Ran out of milk and bread? Good luck buying groceries when all your toddler wants to do is push your cart into other shoppers.

Packing for a trip? Oh, how nice, but your little one is tossing every item of clothing out of the suitcase. You didn’t really need to bring underwear, anyway.

Taking the dog out for a walk? Luckily, I just wrote a column for Metro Parent, Portland’s parenting magazine, with explicit instructions on just how to take your toddler and pooch on a hike. Zip over here to read the step-by-step instructions or pick up a free copy around town. I’ve even included my top tactical flashlight list if you’re planning a long hike with overnight camping. Be sure to comment with your own suggestions on how to take a munchkin out for a walk. I could use the advice!

Peeper refusing to move an inch on the trail.
Peeper refusing to move an inch on the trail.

13 months

Now that Peeper is officially a Big Girl, she’s been exploring—and pushing—boundaries.

Walking is second nature by now: There’s no more precariously toddling with outstretched arms for balance. With her two-legged confidence comes running, or at least race walking. Bonks and bruises come with the territory, but her indomitable enthusiasm doesn’t leave a lot of time for fussing and crying after a tumble.

Ten Thousand Hour Mama

We also have a budding monkey on our hands. She has discovered climbing and tries to scale anything with a foothold: chairs, the dishwasher, the open fridge.

With mobility, the entire world is opened up to her, yet she pays attention to the tiniest details. When playing on the lawn, she notices a sugar ant toiling among the green blades of grass. She points at a spider on its web, which must look as if it’s floating in the air. And as she sat in sunlight streaming in through the window, she paused suddenly to stare at dust motes swirling in the light.

Cougar Reservoir - Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Walk the line

The day before her birthday, Peeper turned a corner—literally. She went from stringing together a few steps to full-blown walking. 

Look! Evidence she’s a walker!

Peeper walks the line from Catherine Ryan Gregory on Vimeo.

I’m still having a really hard time calling her a toddler, so for now I’m settling on one-year-old baby who walks. Really rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? 

Her newly honed skill delights everyone, most of all herself. Her hands are always full as she motors around the apartment, and I think she’s thrilled that she can carry mum mums or her hairbrush or the dog’s Kong ball or both the remote controls at all times. 

When Peeper was doing more stumbling and falling than actual walking, parents of older children would give me this knowing look like, Just you wait. And I’d say something along the lines of, “Yeah, I’m excited and scared at the same time!” 

But now that she’s a biped, I haven’t felt the panic that all these parents foretold. Maybe that comes later, like when she decides to sprint into traffic or play chase in the crowds of the Saturday Market, but for now, I’m just enjoying watching her explore on her own two feet. 

For now, those two feet carry her toward me more often than not. They run to me to show me the piece of popcorn she found on the floor. They toddle my way when she needs a snuggle. They leave her hands free to carry a book so we can get down to the serious business of reading I Love You Stinky Face for the eighteenth time.

There’s plenty of time for those little legs to carry her away. Today, though, her walking brings her closer to me.