Is he walking yet?

September 28, 2011

Oh boy, am I sick of that question.

No, he is not.

But he is cruising around the furniture. He is getting braver every day. You know what else he can do? He can bulldoze through barriers or anything in his path. He can play independently. He knows which way books are supposed to face, and flips through them and examines the pictures and babbles. He gives the BEST snuggles after he wakes up. He can mimick a lot of sounds and tries to repeat back many things we say.

He can feed himself very well. He can trash the living room in record time. He can fight sleep like you wouldn’t believe. Do you know how many teeth he has? (Eleven.) Have you SEEN his curls?


Seriously, look at them.

When I’m wrapping up a phone conversation, he knows it and starts to say “buh-bye” before I do. He can take the battery cover off of a remote control in two seconds flat. He can even stop time… because he can make me forget my to-do list in an instant when we decide that it’s more important to cuddle with him instead.

He can make me belly laugh, and he can give me hugs and kisses when I really (really) need them.

So can we please just enjoy him, right where he is at this moment? It’s okay that he’s not walking, because I don’t define him by meeting silly milestones.

Yes, I will be excited when he can walk. It will also be bittersweet, because he is just so darn cute when he crawls around. Especially when he does his speed crawl, because I’m chasing him or because he is focused on something (usually naughty) that he just must get to (*cough*dogs’ water dishes*cough*).

From experience, I know that when they learn one big new skill, they move on from the last one. Before he could crawl, he did this hilariously adorable happy bouncy thing, where he would be on his belly and kick his legs and bounce up and down and make this raspy “heeheehee” noise while he smiled. Once he figured out how to crawl, he stopped doing that. He probably only did that about five more times.

So I am enjoying the crawling stage. Because, once he figures out how to walk, I know crawling will be a fleeting skill, something used in the past. It will be used sparingly, to get from one toy to another nearby.

I am sick of answering the question of, “Is he walking yet?” And then seeing the disappointment on their faces when we say he isn’t, hearing it in their voices when they respond. Like there’s something wrong with a child who isn’t walking by his first birthday.

People do that a lot when you have kids. Always rushing them, expecting more from them. “Is he sleeping through the night yet?” “Is he rolling over yet?” “Is he on solid foods yet?” “Is he crawling yet?” “When are you going to stop breastfeeding?” “When are you going to forward-face his car seat?” And, the most recent (and most persistent) one, “Is he walking yet?”

At one point, people had even convinced my husband that there might be something wrong with him, and I had to reassure him that he was just fine and was making the necessary steps (no pun intended) toward walking. People ask our son, “When are you going to walk?” “Come on, buddy, why can’t you walk yet?” Like he’s defective or something. My father in law has been gruffly asking us for about six months about whether he was walking.

I’m so glad he doesn’t yet understand their words. That he is blissfully unaware that people are judging him, even when he isn’t doing anything wrong.

Please stop rushing my child. He will have enough expectations of him throughout his life. Let him figure things out at his own pace. I am enjoying him very much right where he is, in this moment in time. Don’t they grow up fast enough?

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