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The Toddler

ZoƩ Greenhouse of Putney, VT, is a 2-year-old with a mission: to keep her feet from touching the ground. "She's a perfectly good walker, but all she wants is to be carried," says her mom, Carol.

Some toddlers just don't like to get on board with the whole walking thing. To understand why, first consider what your child is getting out of being carried:

A better view. Otherwise, a lot of action seems to go on above her head, out of sight.

Comfort. It feels good to be so close to you.

Safety. In a new place, she might feel more secure in your arms.

Attention, attention. If she's at your level, she figures, you'll have to listen.

To lighten your load, just say no when your child begs to be picked up (but offer to hold her hand), or set some limits. Say that you'll hold her for five minutes and then she has to take a turn on the ground, or that you'll carry her to the car, but she must walk in the store.

If you can tell that she can't see what's going on above her, point out fun stuff on her level ("Aren't those flowers pretty?") or set her up in a high chair (say, to watch you cook). And know that sometimes, you're going to be a Sherpa.