A while ago, my bundle of incalculable joy began strolling around the house holding on to the finger, sleeve or trouser leg of the person nearest to him, writes Ben Keenan.
He would stand, wobble, locate his centre and then reach out for some support before putting one foot gently in front of the other with an inspirational grin on his face. After a few weeks of this I started to develop a pain in my lower back which made me walk like Old Man Steptoe being waltzed around his lounge by a baby. But when the waltz was over, I would sit or sometimes fall to the ground and noticed that as soon as I landed, the boy would start vocalising his unhappiness with impressive volume.
Obviously bored of being held up like this by me and his family, Tom decided that enough was enough and realised that if he wanted to walk, it would be much quicker not to rely on adults but do it himself.
The day my son let go of my hand and took his first solo steps were as wonderful as everyone said they would be and filled our home with such warmth and joy that we’ve only just turned the central heating on.
Tom has now mastered the art of walking and looks as pleased as punch as soon as he stands up because he knows that any minute, this new skill he has acquired will see him located in a completely different part of the room which makes his tiny body laugh out loud with pride and pleasure.
He gives himself a running commentary of everything he sees, passes and interacts with on his journey from the coffee table to the washing machine via the pantry and the back door. But what I love most about Tom’s progress occurs mid stride when he suddenly looks around the room to make sure that all those watching him are as amazed by this magic act as he is.
As each new phase of his life arrives and gets mastered, I am reminded just how amazing my son is and how astonishing babies are in general.