So Tenley is about 5 minutes away from walking. If she wants to get somewhere fast, she crawls; but otherwise she prefers to grab Mom or Dad's index fingers and take steps. She's still leading with her chest (hasn't quite found her center of gravity) so I think it will be a couple weeks before she takes her first solo steps.
Until then, she has her new best friend The Hippo. Jeff and I saw the hippo months ago on sale at Target, but we decided not to get it right then. Grandma Suzie decided it was now time for the hippo & made the purchase! The hippo is really pretty cool: you can ride on him and scoot him along with your feet, or you can push him with the handle and walk behind him and he gobbles up Fisher Price Peek-A-Blocks if you toss them in his path. When we first took him out of the box, she eyed him suspiciously. If we set her on the seat & pushed him she threatened to cry. She was angry that he kept taking her blocks. So we let him hang out in her room for a couple weeks. Jeff and I played with him. We demonstrated how to push him. She remained uncovinced.
However, after assisted toddling all over Grandpa Duke's house and coming home to find her corral was down, she decided to give the hippo a chance. She was not dissappointed! She pushed her new friend back and forth across the living room floor from Daddy to Mommy (who turned it around for her) for a couple hours yesterday, and then again this morning. Her whole face lit up and she squealed with delight as she realized that she was walking by herself.
She's still a little unsteady, so we haven't thrown any Peek-A-Blocks in his path to gobble up, because if he misses she's likely to trip on the block and go down face first into a heap...and there's nothing worse than a hippo wreck in your hall. But all too soon I fear that my days will consist of throwing ever more blocks on the floor to be gobbled by the hippo, and that she will be zooming all over the house trying to get the hippo to gobble the cats. ...and that's fine- because that's what bright blue hippos are for.