Baby Steps around the Office, Baby Steps down the Hall

Because I’m a word geek, I’m always fascinated to learn about the origins of phrases.  I refuse to declutter my etymology dictionary, for instance; it’s just so handy when you need to find out whether the use of the word kit for a collection of stuff came up before or after the word kete, which is Maori for bag.  (Kit has been around for ages, by the way, lest I leave you with an unanswered question to plague you. You’re welcome.) Plus, it makes visitors think I’m smart and stuff.

Anyway, I flicked through an old Dave Ramsey book at the library the other day, having heard him mentioned online, and was excited to see he used the phrase “Baby Steps”

Then, Dave mentioned that he had named his”Baby Steps” after a book a character wrote in a movie, What About Bob?. Intrigued, I looked it up.

Being such a spring chicken myself, I hadn’t seen that film, which came out back in 1991, when I wasn’t even born yet was 13.

It’s a comedy film directed by Frank Oz, and starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss. Murray plays Bob Wiley, a multiphobic psychiatric patient who follows his successful and (beyond) egotistical psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin (played by Dreyfuss) on vacation. (Thanks, Wikipedia!) Hilarity ensues.

In the movie, Dr Leo Marvin introduces Bob to his book Baby Steps… A Guide to living life One step at a time…

Here is the blurb off the back of the fictional book, explaining the idea of Baby Steps:

What are Baby Steps?

It may be a comedy movie, but it’s still very good advice.

Take it all one little baby step at a time, so you don’t get overwhelmed.

(PS: The book cover and blurb are from the interesting blog of Daren Dochterman, who designed the cover for the prop book in the movie. It’s taking all of my concentrating energy to not spend the rest of the afternoon reading it!)