Is my baby a toddler?

I’ve sort of gotten used to being a mom of a baby. I mean, as used to it as you can get — I’m tired a lot, and so much busier than I ever imagined, but I sort of have it figured out. But the rules are changing and I can feel it; Harley is growing up so fast, and as I watch her pull herself up to standing, I’ve been wondering… is my baby a toddler? Where do you draw that line?

From what I’ve read online, everyone has their own definition. Some people say that a baby becomes a toddler once they can walk. Others say it’s from when they are a year old. Others give you until the baby is 18 months. And while Harley will always be MY baby, I’m not too sure that she’s actually a baby anymore. I think she’s a toddler.

First up, there’s the movement thing. She is now a speed crawler, able to get pretty much anywhere she wants on all fours. She likes when we notice she has disappeared from where we left her — she waits for us to notice that she is in the hallways before speed-crawling off towards the bathroom or bedroom. She giggles the whole time, proving that it’s all just a fun game for her. But it’s not just crawling. She has figured out how to pull herself up to standing, and if you hold her hands she will sort of walk. Sort of. I can’t imagine it’s long now until she is officially walking, at which point my life as I know it will be over.

Beyond movement, there’s also the personality stuff. Harley knows what she wants. If she wants to crawl on the table, or play with a certain toy, or crawl explore a part of the house she shouldn’t, she will persist. If you stop her, she will cry and wail like you just ruined her whole life. I think that’s a tantrum… isn’t it? Am I fighting early tantrums, because if so, this is already not much fun.

But she’s also so much more adorable with her little personality. She gets excited by things, engages with me and Dean, plays with her toys in new ways and wants us to applaud her when she does something cool. She’s pushing boundaries, but also figuring out ways for us to enjoy each other, and it is so ridiculously fun and cute. We can make faces at each other, or play games with each other, and it makes me so incredibly happy.

Anyway, whether she is a baby or a toddler doesn’t matter too much — I still need to take care of her, play with her, teach her and not let her drive me too crazy. But it just sort of boggles my mind… I don’t have a baby anymore, I have a toddler.