Even if Emma started walking pretty late - apparently, doctors start worrying at 18 months - and hence is not exactly small at around 80-85cm her new found mobility has made her seem like such a big girl to me! Now more than ever she can unmistakably show that she has a mind of her own- like turning around and walking in the opposite direction whenever she feels like it and having us chase after her, which she thinks is absolutely hilarious. It also means that getting back from kindergarden takes forever as she tries to follow each person who responds to her "hallo"s, touches leafless branches/ holes in the wall/dents in benches and stops to exclaim "baaahh!" at the cigarette butts and chewing gum blobs on the sidewalks.
At home too, she will alternatively follow Dad into the dressing room and sit by the mirror as she watches him dress for work or come and get me in the bathroom or the kitchen.
Walking also helps her breach the communication gap when she is at a loss for words for her wishes; when she wants us to "read" with her she walks to "her" shelf in the living room picks a book and brings it to us or takes it to our "reading chair" tapping the seat with her hand so as to indicate we should sit; when she wants to go out she taps the bench at the entrance where we sit her down to put her shoes and coat on and sometimes say says "shushur" (chaussures = shoes in French) or "ko" (for "école" = school in French).
Her newest thing is to carry our empty chip bowl to the kitchen and plonk it on the counter -even if she can barely reach it- or to pick up a carrier bag and wave bye bye as she carries it off down the hall as if she were leaving on a mission or maybe just to go to work or to run some important errands...
Walking changes everything for Emma and for us.