My little girl is an only child this weekend. I shipped my son off to
stay with his grandparents and, since her mind is not developed enough to
remember anything yet, I've decided to spend my weekend drinking straight vodka
and walking around the house naked. Aaaahhh, sweet freedom.
All kidding aside, my daughter is sixteen months old. She's doing all
of the things that a sixteen-month-old should do except one: walking. The
little stinker will not walk. She tears around the house behind her
walker and maneuvers it with the precision of a Nascar driver but the instant
she lets go of the handle, her butt is on the ground. It is very
frustrating for me but she could care less. She does not want to walk
Several of the babies that were born after my daughter within my circle of
friends have started walking already. We go to a playgroup and they all
run by her, laughing at her while she crawls. Most of my friends' babies
are pretty vindictive little things. Invariably my daughter's inability
(or lack of desire) to walk becomes a topic of conversation. I
immediately point out all of the things that she is doing in the hopes
of outdoing their children in other ways. "She says a new word
everyday. Tonight, when I laid her down for bed, she said, 'night night'
as clear as day." I get smiles, nods, and ooohs and aaahs but I know
what they are really thinking. They think that my daughter must be
developmentally delayed because she isn't walking yet. They would be
worried if they were her parents. Occasionally, I will come across
someone whose child walked at 17 or 18 months. When I do, I leach onto
them immediately and mentally document every detail of their child's
developmental process. This, for some reason, is immensely comforting.
Why do we worry so much about keeping up with the Joneses? This worry
has, for me, extended into my baby's development. Maybe I should hire a
"walking coach." Or perhaps some Kindermusik will solve her
problem. Have I not been stimulating her enough? If only I could
throw some money at the situation, surely it would improve.
I just need to face facts: my daughter will walk when she is good and
ready. Did I mention she says a new word every day?
ADDENDUM: I was talking to my cousin today and she said, "no
wonder your daughter isn't walking. You keep her in a walker all of the
time." I realized that when most people hear the word
"walker" they think of a contraption that you put your baby in and
let him/her use their legs to move around the house. I was referring to a
push toy that has a handle that my daughter uses to balance as she walks around
the house. BIG difference.