Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Awkward Mom vs. Walking

We know what you are thinking, and don't worry, Awkward Mom has not broken anything. We are aware that her tendency to trip is concerning and that, for some unknown reason, she always crashes into the stove when she rounds the corner from the kitchen to the pantry, but rest assured, dear Readers, she is still able to walk. It is Super Toddler that isn't walking. And there is a reason this post isn't titled: Super Toddler vs. Walking. Super Toddler has absolutely no issues with his lack of walking; left to his own devices, he would merrily crawl through the world (at record-breaking speeds, mind you) much like a super-charged tank, busting through anything that got in his way. Super Toddler will take you out at the ankle, believe me, he has no pity for legs that get in his way; early and elderly walkers be warned. Nope, this is definitely Awkward Mom's battle.

So, Super Toddler has not walked yet. I suppose this makes his name rather misleading, but I digress. Super Toddler is 20 months old, as of yesterday. Depending on who you ask, this situation is:

(1) slightly unusual but not bad

(2) perfectly fine

(3) really starting to hurt my back

(4) horrible and makes me the worst mom on the planet.

(OK, the third one is me.....and a little of the fourth one too.)

According to the doctors and nurses, the average walking start is between 14-18 months. As our doctor explains to me (our comforting and soothing "Dr. Graham"), in order to make that "pretty bell-shaped curve," some children walk at 9 months and some wait until they are 2 years old. His nurse further reassures me that there are children who walk at 2 years old but you don't hear about it because their moms are usually too embarrassed. I, personally, think they are just drown out by the moms talking (loudly) about their 9-month-old walkers, but that is just my opinion. Super Toddler has been examined for physical impairments in his legs and hips, by the way. Despite a slight over-flexibility (which, frankly, I thought all children had), he is perfectly fine. Hence, the medical profession thinks Super Toddler will be teaching your next Thursday yoga class and his lack of walking is slightly unusual but no big deal.

My mother, aunts, and any woman I know of that generation just laugh at my worries. "Children are supposed to crawl, it is good for their brain development," they chant at me, as they hand me Dr. Spock's book and some chocolate. My mother claims to have no idea when I walked or crawled or any other milestone whatsoever. (She does however have one bragging touchstone; my first word was Flamingo. She likes to share that one. Oh, and that I made her go into labor during the Blizzard of '78, but again, I digress.) Basically, all the women I know with grown children think that I should calm down. They seem to be well aware of how brief these early years are (and how fleeting and small the worries are). I suppose they are just more concerned with the sons that won't move out of their houses, the daughters that just lost jobs, and the state of their IRAs. All of them seem to think that Super Toddler is perfectly fine and that he will walk when he is ready. My Super Friend, Magnificent Mom (who isn't of my mother's generation, but has the wisdom to be) likes to say "It isn't like he is going crawl across the stage to get his college diploma." So, general opinion here is CALM IT DOWN, AWKWARD MOM!

But my back hurts.

And......the opinion of every random mom I meet at every playgroup, park, store, street corner, doctor's office waiting room, BabyCenter thread, blog entry, magazine, and parking lot seems to be "Oh my goodness, he hasn't walked yet? That is horrible. I think you should just give up and start working on Super Fetus because that older one of yours is so small and clearly not potty trained and this one won't walk at 20 months and they are both clearly not going to Harvard now. You poor poor thing. Thank goodness Perfect Toddler walked at 6 months, she is already on the waiting list for Yale." I may be paraphrasing a wee bit, but you get the message. The ugly, pitying, judgmental, horrid message. The message that, for the same unknown reason that we horde insults and disregard compliments, I allow in to wreck havoc on my mom confidence, while I won't listen to the wise women in my life and the entire medical profession.

Well, the whole point here is Super Toddler isn't walking, and about 2 Fridays ago, after a particularly trying evening with the super kicker (AKA Super Fetus), I call the doctor's office in tears. It is mostly about Super Preschooler and his lack of potty training (but that is an entirely different post and one that neither I nor the general public is ready for), but at the end, I sneak in my concerns about Super Toddler. She tells me to go take a nap and she will tell the doctor about it on Monday. I sigh and lie on the couch. I don't nap, but Netflix may be on and it may be on Pawn Stars. Anywho, it is good that I don't nap because 10 minutes later, the nurse calls me back. (I think my tears got to her.) She has called the doctor at home and they decide (even though they aren't concerned and don't think anything is wrong and that I really should be taking that nap) to refer Super Toddler to a physical therapist. I promise to take the nap (I don't; the pawn store might be buying the BatMobile. I am not missing that.) and I thank her profusely.

Now, for some reason, this "action" makes me feel a ton better. Logically it shouldn't. Nothing happens for a week. Super Toddler continues to crawl. Well-meaning moms continue to stare pityingly. And my back still hurts. But I have a referral. I have confirmation, something official. Someone professional is going to look into this. Someone is going to help me. Someone is going to fix this.

Oh, naive Awkward Mom....

Tune in next time, Dear Readers! Super Toddler is in physical therapy and he could care less, but Awkward Mom is hoping this is the cure for the crawling! However, all is not roses; first there is a giant hurdle to overcome. A hurdle of such insurmountable proportions that it gives Awkward Mom pause and makes her wonder if just letting Super Toddler crawl across that graduation stage isn't all that bad. She has to endure the dreaded Home Visit.....(cue scary music. You should have some, Halloween is just around the corner, you know. You also must know that Awkward Mom will NOT be making the Super Boys' costumes this year. I mean, you must have guessed that, right? What else would make sense? What? Wait; is this thing still on? Oops!) Anyway, join us next time here at the Adventures of Awkward Mom!

Walking? You have to be kidding. I am going straight to driving.


  1. I'm sure you've found things like this already, but just so you know you are really not alone (especially about the negative social pressure):


    According to those, Sean is likely just a strong-willed genius. You should tell people that when they ask/comment. I think it would go *fantastically*. :)

  2. Do you remember how Dr. Spock's book begins? Here's a reminder: "You know more than you think you do."

    I remember how peeved I was at all my friends whose babies walked at 9 months. Babies! It just wasn't natural.

  3. I can't wait to find out what happens with the home visit... I know what you mean about the stress related to this. I have had a few of these myself and I always secretly worried it would result in a visit from DCFS.

  4. Oh, and I really understand you on the negative peer pressure from other moms. I don't know why they have the desire to use their children in competition.