Every day, when arriving at Sofiya’s, the kids all greet us with a loud and happy “BABY WALKER!” and they run over, crowd around him and offer their favorite toys as if they are paying homage to the King. He’s been called Baby Walker since they day he arrived. And it’s important to point out that when you pronounce it, you have to say it fast, as if it’s all one word “BabyWalker”. BabyWalker has made such an impression that Ocean, a 2 year old girl, has named ALL but one of her dolls “BabyWalker”. When I see the parents, they all inquire after BabyWalker and comment on his size, personality or new found mobility. And it’s not just Day Care where he’s been given the moniker but my friends and family sometimes refer to him thusly and it’s gotten me thinking…

Will he always be called BabyWalker? Might he graduate to ToddlerWalker or ChildWalker and how will we know when that happens? Will he be 40 years old and folks will still call him BabyWalker? (Kinda like adults who are called “Tiny” or “Timmy” or “Chip”) I remember we had to come up with a nickname for my brother because both he and my father share a name. He was called “T” for a long time and then somehow it evolved to “Thayersie” which, of course, is the studly name you want your girlfriends to know when you’re a hip, urban teen…

A good friend of mine said she calls him BabyWalker because WALKER is such a strong name and he hasn’t quite grown into it. That’s the best explanation I’ve heard so far, especially when considering the origin of the name. According to my baby book it means “thickener of cloth”. Now, I’m not sure what that means (it sounds like the Old English tailors could have used some starch) so according to the trusted Web where all things are true, it means:

Occupational surname for a fuller, or person who walked on damp raw cloth in order to thicken it. Derived from the Middle English “walkcere,” meaning “a fuller of cloth,” and derived from the Old English “wealcan,” to walk or tread.

I’m sure he’s glad we didn’t call him “Treader” or “Wealcan”. (And since we’re on the subject of names, there’s no definition for “Mimi” but it is often a nickname of “Miriam” which has something to do with being rebellious and strong-willed and of course Laurence means “victor” or “crowned with Laurels” so I think we’ve grown into our names. We’ll see what cloth thickening Walker does as he grows older.)

You can see from the video that Walker is eating a lot of other foods. We tried out a few things and the biscuits are very, very messy. Thank goodness he’s interested cheese, banana, avocado, Cheerios and crackers, which while messy, don’t register as a 10 on the disgusting scale. The other day, he was very generous and offered me some of his cheese which I thought was very sweet. He’s also interested in yogurt and is now drinking a full sippy cup of milk a day. All of this eating has seemed to plump him up in the last two weeks and could be helping him sleep — for the past two nights he’s slept from 7:30 – 4:30/5:00 without too much waking (meaning, he yells a bit but puts himself right back to sleep!). It’s crazy that we feel so rested by just having a few nights of relatively uninterrupted sleep.

Stopped at the gateThe little guy is pulling himself up on everything and is getting to be a very fast crawler. Sofiya claims he’s keeping her fit with all the exercise she gets running after him and making sure he doesn’t topple over. The other evening Walker was crawling around the floor and little George, who will be 3 the day after Walker’s first birthday, came running in the room and sprinted in circles around us. Walker straightened his arms and legs as far as he could, clearly trying to stand up to join George in this extremely fun activity. As he couldn’t break gravity’s grasp, he yelled at the top of his lungs, plopped on his butt, and watched George with a big smile. I can tell he’s going to be a very active child once he figures out the walking. To that end, we’ve started putting up gates (and you can see he’s not entirely sure what to do when he gets to one other than sit in front of it or climb on it), hiding brick-a-brack, and generally being more aware of what goes on the ground. Probably good advice at any time but not something that was top of mind pre-baby.

Chillin' by the the 'Gate Banana!

Yesterday was a beautiful day and we had a fun picnic on the beach at Chrissy Field. Walker enjoyed the sun and the waves and the wind and sandy Cheerios and banana.

So, Walker is now 50 weeks old and I’ve been doing this blog for a week shy of a year. The time has gone so quickly and it’s amazing that a year ago, I was still contemplating girl names, taking long hikes, and seeing all the movies I could work in. Today, I have a baby who is on his feet and climbing over anything he can find, who greets us in the morning with a “hi mama” and “hi dada” (yeah, “hi” is first, non-name word) and I’m sore after the type of walk/hike I was doing regularly when pregnant. Whoda thunkit?

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