We were told by many other parents that we shouldn’t be concerned that Kaia learned to walk at 16.5 months and not earlier. “You should enjoy it! You will be so tired chasing her while running around! Be happy that she can be contained for a bit longer!” Chris kept on calling her “defective” and asking her when she was going to walk, half joking. Honestly, while I was a little concerned and didn’t push back on the early intervention suggestion by the doctor at her 16-month checkup, I did know that once she became more mobile, I’d get more exhausted more quickly while traveling.
And that is definitely right. After having our first connecting flight from JFK to Miami delayed, which would have resulted in our connecting flight to Cancun being missed, I had to get in line to get our second flight rebooked. We spent some unplanned time at the AA lounge in Miami and ended up arriving in Cancun several hours after our original scheduled arrival time, so Wednesday was completely gone. We ended up eating at a sports bar restaurant at the resort before going to bed. But while at the lounge, Kaia kept wanting to wander everywhere, all the time. She was walking into people transiting in busy hallways, through people’s luggage. I had to keep running up to her and grabbing her to prevent someone from tripping over her or her knocking over someone else’s belongings. Luckily for the most part, people were quite amused and thought she was just the cutest. We got endless compliments about how cute and pretty she is, plus how sweet she is walking.
Of course, she looks precious and sweet when she’s wandering around like a tiny robot, unsure of what to do with her arms, so she usually has them sticking out in front of her. But then, when you try to hold her hand to walk the way you want her to walk, or you pick her up when she’s determined to keep going where she wants, she flips out and throws a toddler tantrum. And then, I have to to do *that mom thing* and hold her in football hold under one arm, otherwise she will squirm her way out of my grip and fall and hurt herself.
Parents always judge each other. They give endless crap and judgment to parents who use leashes, saying it’s inhumane, and babies aren’t dogs. But honestly, when I first heard of parents doing this and making these purchases on Amazon, I had little judgment. In fact, I thought it was kind of hilarious and quite safe, a solution to all of parents’ worst worries with their rambunctious little ones, discovering that they could “go” where they wanted whenever they wanted… if they wanted. What would you rather happen: a parent leash their unwieldy, stubborn child at the wrist, or the child running loose and getting hit by a bike or car?