#180 Tripping and realizing no one saw you

Babies take a while to walk.

If you’ve seen it happen, you know there is plenty of falling, crawling, and bawling. Hey, there’s a reason most two-year-olds are covered in fat lips, skinned knees, and coffee-table-dented foreheads.

Learning to walk ain’t easy.

Sure, you did it and I did it but we probably couldn’t do it again. Like learning anything tough and life-altering, learning to walk is a messy process that takes time and patience.

First, there is rolling. That cute little baby-powder ball of flabby arms and puffy diapers twists and shimmies on the cold linoleum with a big smile on her face. This marks a major step as baby is learning to move on her own. Don’t laugh because you were once a flabby, wiggling diaper ball too.

Once that’s nailed, it’s time to sit up and start crawling. This turns the house into a carpeted jungle full of discovery and adventure. Curiosity helps little ones discover pantry shelves, cat little trays, and toilets. Some people have an adorable Crab Baby at this stage, also known as a one-year-old who crawls backward or sideways instead of forward. Watch out for pinchy claws grabbing at your hair and glasses.

Next up: teetering! White-knuckled, apricot-sized hands grip staircase railings and kitchen table legs with furrowed brows and steely determination. The side benefit of diapers comes into play here, as handy ass-padding for the vast number of harrowing, thunderous falls. Eventually, with immense focus and concentration, most of them manage to find their center of gravity and balance the baby chub on their two teeny-tiny tootsies.

After this point, it’s just a matter of time. There’s some nervous balancing without the railing and then lopsided running with occasional face-plants in the front hallway. But soon baby nails it, and after that she’s probably flying pretty high.

Unfortunately, the bad news is that practice doesn’t always make perfect. Even though we’ve been mastering the art of standing tall for years and years and years, everyone slips and falls now and then. Just ask your local small-claims court.

So next time your shoe catches on the top step at work, you trip stepping off the airport’s moving sidewalk, or you bail on a patch of ice outside your front door, remember that not too long ago you couldn’t walk at all.

So your wipeout is really no big deal.

As long as nobody saw you.


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Photos from: here, here, and here