Monday, December 6, 2010

Walker, Baby Ranger*

What, you don’t remember the hit Walker, Texas Ranger? Me either. Let’s move on, shall we?

Never forget...

Baby finally took her first steps. At 15 1/2 months.

Both my kids were late walkers. Preschooler didn’t learn until 16 1/2 months. Those 16 1/2 months were spent in anxious concern that because my daughter was a late bloomer in the walking department, she would probably have to roll and crab-crawl** to job interviews when she’s 23.

With Baby I had no compunction whatsoever. My kids were just late walkers. That’s just the way they rolled (or crab-crawled.) Whatever.

So screw developmental assessments!

There, I’ve said it.

At every baby well visit I’m handed a questionnaire and asked to tick off the items my baby is able to accomplish. The 12 month questionnaire went something like this:

Can your baby pick up a small object between his forefinger and thumb? Check.

Can your child speak at least one recognizable word besides mama and dada? Check.

Can your baby identify the area of an isosceles triangle. Uhhh....check?

But there’s one assessment question that has always screwed both my children over.

Does your baby walk yet, or at least cruise?

Our pediatrician in Ohio responded to this with:

It’s probably nothing. BUT...

And that “but” would drive my new-parent anxiety off a cliff and into a ravine filled with thorn bushes, and probably bears.


By the time Baby came into our lives, I was no longer concerned with her pokey gross motor development. And neither was her new pediatrician, who basically said, “Who cares? See you in 3 months.”

Lots of things are more difficult with 2 children. Time management. Shopping. Sanity.

But some things, like diaper-changing and expectations, are easier.

* I owe the entire concept of this title to my best friend's cat.

** Crab-crawl refers to this funky way of mobilization, where my kids scoot around on their butts using both hands and one knee in front of them. It's not to be confused with traditional crab-crawling.

Faster, my minions, faster!