Monday, October 31, 2005

Walk, Baby, Walk

One of the most exciting parts of motherhood is seeing my son make new discoveries. He is amazed by everyday occurrences, such as my husband shaving. (Well, that is an almost everyday occurrence.) My son will watch with amazement.

We are on our third cabinet-locking device. He figured out the other two after a day or so of intense observation. Now we have just gone to an old-fashioned solution - a bungee cord. He cannot get the cabinets open, but he does think that it is fun to hold the cord while he sways backward.

Still, I am waiting for him to walk. He can do it, but we won't. I think it is a stubborn streak rearing its ugly head early in life. Jayden has been standing for four months now. He stands on his own. He can even bend over and pick up toys. He can crawl so fast you have to run to catch him. He can (unfortunately) climb the stairs.

He refuses to walk. If he needs to get somewhere, he will walk his feet out so that they are as wide as he can make them and them lean to grab whatever he wants.

It is so frustrating because I want this milestone to happen, but I think it is why it hasn't. Maybe we are trying too hard. When he is standing with my husband, I will say, "come here, baby. Come to Mommy." And he hops down and crawls over.

Crawling is faster, and it gets him everywhere he needs to go right now. Why bother walking? What's the point? Since he can scoot everywhere and can even catch the cats by crawling, I'm not sure that he feels any great need to start walking. It wouldn't even be faster at the beginning. Plus there are all of those bumps and bruises to consider from walking.

I read that some babies do not walk until they are 18 months old, and I keep thinking that I hope he is not one of those little tykes. I don't see how he could be because we give him so much room to run (crawl) and play. We don't hover over him, grabbing him every time he falls. We give him space.

I suppose that I just have to accept that he will do it in his own time. Maybe his personality is more like his father's than mine. My husband is never rushed. He is as relaxed as I am high-strung. He never lets anything make him feel pressured, and that includes work. Brian is so smart, but he never had any desire to push the limits of his abilities. He did well in college with no effort, and he is happy at his job. Maybe Jayden is that way, too, and if he is, then I should be able to accept it by now.

What am I saying? That's ridiculous. I'm going to go get him now and practice walking. Walk, baby, walk! Give your mommy peace of mind!

By Brandi Rhoades

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