Dear Mums of late walkers,
How do you do it? How do you stop your antsyness from bubbling over? How do you soothe the bleeding toes and scraped up knees? How do you watch everyone else’s babies take their first steps at 12 months whilst your child, who is half their age again, has zero interest? What do you do?
Joseph was 18 months old yesterday and he doesn’t walk on his own. That’s not to say that he can’t walk. I’ve chosen my words quite precisely. He doesn’t walk without an aid; be that human, furniture or a some kind of car, pram or toy. With those in hand he’ll be upright and on his feet for hours.
We’ve seen him walk solo on more than one occasion and with multiple steps too. We cheered him. Clapped him. Kissed him. Hugged him. He smiles. Scratch that, he beams with delight. Then the recognisable knee bend happens and he gets back down on his hands and knees to resume the fastest crawl known to man. He’s an expert in his field because he’s been at it for nigh on a year now!
Joe isn’t lazy in the slightest. He’d move constantly if I let him but the effort of trying to walk is far more than the energy required to speed crawl across any room on all fours. But it’s getting tiring for me. My back hurts from bending down all of the time and a crawler is so much harder than a walker in many ways.
I can’t put him down when he’s hanging out of my arms like a chimpanzee because some floors are just too damn dirty for his little hands. We’ve had vomiting bug after bug because yep, sometimes, I forget to wash his hands before he eats. Until the hot temperatures really kicked in he was going through the knees of a pair of trousers a day. I thought that the pain of the knee scrapes whilst in shorts would be the trick. Nope, Joe just learnt to bear crawl instead. He’s definitely a master of adapting and overcoming!
And there’s no point in consulting the internet. I just did that and was faced with a barrage of comments about other people’s late walkers who were all of 12 months old. What? WHAT? That’s average, not late you ninny. And then the ever-present link to autism was there too.
I know it’s all about patience but that’s not a virtue I’ve ever really possessed. As I sit here and write this evening my beautiful baby is standing all by himself playing with an activity centre, regularly taking his hands off of it and balancing. My inner voice is shouting “just WALK, go on, take all the steps”. And then he turns around, gives me the biggest smile and I just feel so guilty. I still want him to walk now though!
Tell me that it’ll happen soon..?!