I always figured watching your child take his/her first steps would be this joyous, momentous family affair. Blerg. I had mixed feelings when my daughter took her first steps at 9.5 months and was full-on walking by 10 months. My son started crawling at 6.5 months. He’s now 8.5 months old, pulling up on everything and to my horror, trying to stand on his own.
Last month we were hanging out with a group of friends when one started holding my son’s hands up while he moved his feet. You know, sort of teaching him to walk. In front of everyone I said, “Uh, no we’re not doing that.” I scooped him up. The adults all looked at me with either baffled looks or smirks. Another friend remarked jokingly, “Wow! I’d hate to be the first woman your baby boy brings home!” I explained this was not weepy maternal sadness at losing my baby, but a practicality thing. (Mostly. Shut up.) My rationale is that he has his whole life to walk. I get another month if I’m lucky.
Just as my son is close to walking, suddenly walking is very hard for me. Yeah, the broken foot is a huge pain. As I follow my crawling baby around the house I feel like Quasimodo limping through the halls of Notre Dame following a small animal he is singing to. I’m slow. I’m awkward. The last thing I need is to chase an unsteady new little walker with my club foot.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hindering him from walking, I’m just not promoting it. I gladly help him back down on his rump if he’s unsteady after pulling up on some piece of furniture he shouldn’t be on anyway. I am quick to pick him up if he’s testing his balance. Sometimes I just look at him and say, “Slow your roll, son!” I’m just not ready. He has time.
I need to get out of this boot first. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. So no, I’m not teaching him how to walk. He’ll figure it out on his own. If this somehow impedes his development I’ll take the blame and he’ll have plenty to write about on whatever a blog will be in twenty years. You know, “My mom was a gimp and delayed my development!!!!”