My little girl is an only child this weekend. I shipped my son off to stay with his grandparents and, since her mind is not developed enough to remember anything yet, I've decided to spend my weekend drinking straight vodka and walking around the house naked. Aaaahhh, sweet freedom.
All kidding aside, my daughter is sixteen months old. She's doing all of the things that a sixteen-month-old should do except one: walking. The little stinker will not walk. She tears around the house behind her walker and maneuvers it with the precision of a Nascar driver but the instant she lets go of the handle, her butt is on the ground. It is very frustrating for me but she could care less. She does not want to walk yet.
Several of the babies that were born after my daughter within my circle of friends have started walking already. We go to a playgroup and they all run by her, laughing at her while she crawls. Most of my friends' babies are pretty vindictive little things. Invariably my daughter's inability (or lack of desire) to walk becomes a topic of conversation. I immediately point out all of the things that she is doing in the hopes of outdoing their children in other ways. "She says a new word everyday. Tonight, when I laid her down for bed, she said, 'night night' as clear as day." I get smiles, nods, and ooohs and aaahs but I know what they are really thinking. They think that my daughter must be developmentally delayed because she isn't walking yet. They would be worried if they were her parents. Occasionally, I will come across someone whose child walked at 17 or 18 months. When I do, I leach onto them immediately and mentally document every detail of their child's developmental process. This, for some reason, is immensely comforting.
Why do we worry so much about keeping up with the Joneses? This worry has, for me, extended into my baby's development. Maybe I should hire a "walking coach." Or perhaps some Kindermusik will solve her problem. Have I not been stimulating her enough? If only I could throw some money at the situation, surely it would improve.
I just need to face facts: my daughter will walk when she is good and ready. Did I mention she says a new word every day?
ADDENDUM: I was talking to my cousin today and she said, "no wonder your daughter isn't walking. You keep her in a walker all of the time." I realized that when most people hear the word "walker" they think of a contraption that you put your baby in and let him/her use their legs to move around the house. I was referring to a push toy that has a handle that my daughter uses to balance as she walks around the house. BIG difference.