Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Woman in her Thirties Walks

In teaching, one of my biggest pet peeves is when students compare themselves to one another.  'So-and-so got a B, but I got a C!  No fair!'  It kills me, and my response is usually something like, 'Yeah, well, life's not fair.  Get used to it.'  I know it's harsh, but it's true.  (It's a good thing I teach high school.)  So-and-so might have gotten a B, but it might have been the first time he used 'their, they're, and there' correctly in a sentence.  Maybe the kid who got the C is capable of far better, and their grade is a reflection of how annoyed I am that they didn't try harder.  I'm not big on the touchy-feely 'everyone is a unique snowflake' stuff, but it's true.  Teaching gives a woman in her thirties a chance to fully understand that.

Which is why, when I became a Mom, I thought I would have this whole comparison thing down.  I know it's inevitable that parents compare their children, but I thought I would be able to see my little pumpkin for the snowflake she is, and not sweat the ways in which the other kids her age were surpassing her.   I was wrong.

AB has been late for pretty much every gross-motor milestone.  She sat up late.  She scooted/crawled late.  She pulled up late.  She cruised late.  She fed herself late. Lately, it didn't matter what she was doing in terms of fine motor and verbal skills, the fact remained that my eighteen-month-old was still not walking, and all my books say she should be. For the past few months especially, all I could do was watch in anguish as the other kids her age run past her, while she sat happily on the floor.


I know lots of wonderful Moms, Moms to lots of wonderful kids, who all said the same thing:  She'll walk when she's ready.  A woman in her thirties who is also a teacher should have no trouble seeing the logic in that.  But inevitably the bird on my shoulder would start chirping again, and I'd make another appointment with another physical therapist, just to be sure everything was okay.  When they said it was, I would spend an afternoon believing them.  Then I'd go back to doubting myself.

This week... shocker... AB started to walk.  She'd taken steps before (usually to the iPhone), but never just gotten up on her own and went.  And when she did, it looked something like this:

(Watching the workers fix our sidewalk, wearing her Little Gym medal)

(Afternoon walk with Ye-Ye)

(Morning stick collection)

I would be surprised if my family in California couldn't hear the sigh of relief that came from me as a result.  Yes, life is more interesting with a walker.  Yes, I'm going to be one busy Momma in just about four (gasp!) weeks.  But I don't care-- she's walking. And what I realized this week was that my worrying about it in no way made it happen-- she did it when she was ready.

Just like everyone said she would.


  1. Yea! Every time I begin to panic because my son is late for a milestone, it isn't but a week or two later that he masters it! Keeps us on our toes as parents, huh?

  2. She was just too preoccupied before with showing us her technological genius. Go Anna Go! Cutest walker ever!

  3. Not only am I stoked about AB's new found abilities, but this post reminded me of what a talented writer you are. Very well written. :)

  4. "they do it when they're ready." "Words of wisdom Lloyd, words of wisdom!"

  5. Walking is better than crawling. Crawling around in floors kinda grosses me out. Congrats, AB!

  6. Way to go AB and mom. Now if you need some tips about potty training (they'll do that when they're ready and just cuz they act and say they are ready doesn't mean they are . . .) let me know. I have a four year potty training method that is awesomely long.