From the Mommy Files…

I Didn’t Think It Would Make Me Cry

Posted on: August 4, 2010

Who knew it bring tears to my eyes?

Bebs doesn’t walk independently. She just turned 17 months old, and I have to say, I was getting very concerned. BooBoo walked with help at about 9 or 10 months old, and independently at 13 months old. I thought for sure Bebs would be an early walker, to keep up with Boo.

“She’s not much of a walker, but she’s quite a talker,” I’d tell people, when they’d ask if she walked yet. She does talk up a storm, and she sings. She seems rather advanced in that area. I would joke, “She isn’t walking so she has to do something!”

At music and dance camp, Bebs did all the arm movements to the dances while sitting on the floor, as the other kids danced. She sang along and it was really cute. I was hoping that since she was the only one at camp that wasn’t walking, she be motivated to get up and go. Camp ended last Friday.

Up until just a few days ago, Bebs would only walk if you held both of her hands above her head. If you let one hand go, she’d freak out and then sit. She’d cruise the furniture, and she’d climb up on anything. I knew she wasn’t afraid.

The only explanation I could come up with was that since her feet are so tiny, she can’t balance herself. Anyone I’d tell this – some agreed it was a possibility, some said I was way off. She began the summer in size 1. I just bought her size 3 a couple of weeks ago. They are a little big, but the size 2 is too small. We are seeing some growth, finally. Boo wore size 3 at about 9 months old.

Every kid I saw her age was walking. In fact, I’ve recently seen kids as young as 10 months walking. I’d look at my child and wonder if something was wrong with her. Why wasn’t she walking?

I’m sure you’ve done this too – I went online to do some research, see what information I could find.

You guessed it.

I scared the bejeezus out of myself.

What did I see? Spina Bifida. Yikes. Not as scary, but concerning: Low muscle tone; physical therapy needed. Whoa. All kinds of crazy things were out there about why her feet might be so small. A ton of things came up about the Chinese binding girls’ feet. We surely are not binding her feet.

There was a recurring theme: if a child isn’t walking at 18 months, there is definitely a problem.

I scheduled an appointment with the doctor. We’re going this weekend. I was starting to wonder if some physical therapy might be in her future.

This past weekend we were outside, and Boo and I were drawing on the sidewalk in front of our stairs. Bebs sat on the last stair and was chatting up a storm. The next thing I knew, she stood right up, without any assistance, all on her own. I couldn’t believe it!

I cheered! Boo came running over. I told her what happened. I counted 1-2-3 and she stood up again. We all cheered – even Bebs. It got to be a game. She did it several times.

My husband suggested we get out the shopping cart toy that Boo used to help her learn to walk. To this point, Bebs hasn’t wanted to play with it. A few times she tried to climb into the basket. Another time she pushed it while on her knees. Otherwise she wouldn’t have any part of it. So we’d put it away and bring it back out occasionally, with the same results.

The next day, we brought out the cart.

She pushed it from the front side. I watched to see what she’d do next.

She held on and walked around to the backside.

She walked with it, backed it up and turned it around. Tears came to my eyes. I watched in awe. WOW!

We actually captured it on video!

On Monday, her 17 month birthday, we went outside to play. Boo was busy playing hopscotch, and Bebs was drawing with chalk on the sidewalk.

I asked the girls if they wanted to play Ring Around the Rosie. They said yes.

We went to the grass and played Ring Around twice and Bebs was done. Rather strange for her – she could play that game all day.

She crawled back over to where she was drawing. Yes, she likes to crawl on the cement. Her poor knees!

Boo went over and said to her, “Let’s play hopscotch,” and took her by the hand. I was about to say, “don’t yank her arm,” when Bebs stood right up and walked along side Boo, as they held hands.

“Look at you guys!” I shouted. It was a sight.

They walked to me, and Bebs extended her hand to me. The three of us walked down the sidewalk as Boo and I cheered for Bebs. Boo decided to go back to hopscotch, and Bebs and I kept walking, side by side, holding one hand. She was a little wobbly, like Bambi taking his first steps. She was so excited and just wanted to keep going.

“Daddy, Daddy!” I shouted. “I wish Daddy could see you!” I told Boo we should be loud, maybe Daddy would look outside the window – his office is on the front side of the house.

He came outside. He stood on the porch and watched with wonder.

“She’s walking!” We both shouted.

Again, the tears. I was so proud and so happy.

And relieved.

Imagine how I will react when she walks independently.

We’ll get there. She has to master it in her own time.

Again, I’m reminded that we shouldn’t compare our kids. They are individuals and will do things on their own schedule. Check out this piece from Babies Today about resisting the urge to compare our kids.

One of my friends said, “You should have scheduled the doctor appointment earlier. It’s like Murphy’s Law.” Could be.

So back to practicing. I bet she’ll master it now pretty quickly.

I’ll warn you now.

If you’re in Chicago and you hear someone yelling like a crazy lady, it’s me cheering on Bebs because she’s finally walking.

I didn’t think walking would make me cry, but it did. Tears of joy!

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3 Responses to "I Didn’t Think It Would Make Me Cry"

I got tears reading your post! Way to go and stick with it mommy! You’ll be running after her in no time 🙂

I had a home daycare for over 10 years and it did seem that if they talked early, they were often later walkers- same with early walkers- they may be late talkers.

My grandson is almost 3 yrs and we are JUST starting to understand what the heck he’s talking about! It all sounded so interesting, but we couldn’t understand a word except, POPS (what he calls Dad and Grandpa!)….

Kids have their own agenda!

BTW- love the pic of Bebs with the phone!

Hi Carolee. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience. My older daughter walked and talked fairly early. Somehow I just assumed the little one would walk just as fast, if not earlier than the older one, to keep up with her. Just goes to show, they are all different! Enjoy your grandson. Take care!

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