I have an amazing little guy. He’s always ahead of the curve with milestones and learns new things in lightning time. The one thing he’s not-so-fast with picking up: walking.
He crawls like he’s on fire, cruises where possible and races his Fisher Price walker activity push toy around beaming with pride and joy. He climbs on stools, chairs and couches with ease. He stands up on his own, and doesn’t need to hold on while he’s standing there. He even teases us, looking like he’s ready to move one foot in front of the other after he is done standing still. But, alas, he has yet to actually do the walking.
Everyone says it’ll happen in good time, including the tips at the Baby Center. We don’t know when the donor started walking, but my wife started at 15 months, according to her baby book. He’s only 14 months. So we have time. Still, when every baby within 6 months of him on either side is walking, it makes us, err, me, a tad jealous. I want my smart boy to be ahead of every curve.
To be fair, it’s a selfish reason I’m hoping he walks soon: he’s nearly 30 pounds, which is heavy for most parents to carry around, but for me, with my CMT and limited upper body strength, it’s crucial he start walking soon! He’s great at climbing the stairs, which is a tough carry for me, so that’s one good point. But even carrying him the short distance from the car to the doctor’s office has me nervous I’ll drop him, but it seems silly to put him in the stroller or K’tan for such a short distance. It’s funny how I measure myself to other “normal” mothers out there, but it’s hard not to. I see them slide their kids onto their jutting hips that seem made to hold them, with one smooth move. The kids sit there, with only one of mom’s hands under their bottoms, and most often that hand also carries a bottle or cup of coffee.
I, on the other hand, have to make sure his armpits are positioned just right on my hands so my wrists don’t flop back from muscle fatigue. When he’s in place, I lift him carefully to my torso and then, in a few short jostles, he’s positioned onto my left hip—for some reason I can’t do the right one. Before I’ve even closed the car door, I’m readjusting because my fingers and arms can’t work simultaneously, which means I can’t lock the door from the keyfob while I am holding him. Instead, I schlep him to my front, use two hands to lock the door, and re-jostle him into position on my hip. Thank god for the new car—a GMC Acadia—and its automatic liftgate, which opens and closes with one click on the keyfob, but again, he needs readjusting so I can have both hands to push that one button. Once he’s finally on me and the car is set, forget me being able to carry a cup or anything else, especially in my left hand. My pocketbook is a right shoulder thing, but because part of being able to keep him hoisted on my left hip means leaning to the right, the purse straps won’t stay secured on my right shoulder.
Fast forward 10 minutes to the check-in desk—yes, it takes me awhile to walk so I make sure my foot lifts off the ground each time and I don’t fall—my newly washed-and-dried hair is a frizzy mess, and I have sweat droplets dotting my forehead and dripping down my back. Somewhere in there I pray the doctor is in a room close to the entrance instead of the back rooms.
In the end it always turns out fine, thanks to the voices in my head that remind me I AM strong, I AM a good mother and I WILL be just as good as other mothers even though I get things done differently than them. I may end up driving home with “Jell-O” arms, but I look in the backseat and see my little guy safe in his carseat and happy as a clam and I know I will be OK.
I know that once we get home, it’ll be back to the same ol’ routine: I work with him to encourage his walking, then he sees it as a game and will promptly swallow bricks and slither out of my grasp, onto the ground, where he can once again speed through the house on all fours.