What do you do when your fifteen month old refuses to walk? Like, refuses to even try and gets all pouty and indignant when we clap our hands and call to her, before scooting away on her little diapered bottom?
I checked with Dr. Google, and while lots of babies take those first wobbly steps around their first birthday, she’s still in the “perfectly normal” range, so phew. But what is the hold up here?
Not one of our kids walked early – none of this before-the-first-birthday stuff at our house. And while I can remember exactly when our oldest first walked – he was 13 months old, and I know because I happened to catch it on video, so thank you, handy time stamp – I’m a little foggy on the other two. Still, I’m pretty sure it was around 14 months.
If I’m being honest, I figured we’d have an early walker with number four, just because she has so many little role models running around. But no.
We have a late bloomer on our hands.
The thing is, she’s been standing independently for months now. She cruises from the recliner to the end table with no trouble, and she sidesteps her way along the windowsill.
Both of those milestones progressed completely by the book, especially the standing. She started pushing herself up, wobbled, caught herself, fell, tried again, and when she finally mastered it, began giving herself standing ovations for her latest trick.
She was proud and excited and super keen on the whole thing. I figured walking wouldn’t be far behind. I mean, she has three siblings that she adores. What better way to keep up?
She’s not a crawler. She has this little butt-scooting thing that’s pretty wild – and so hard on her pants! – but it’s effective. Her pediatrician hadn’t ever seen that particular technique, and I can’t say I have either. Still, she’s mobile, but I’m so ready for this scooting stage to end now. Like, yesterday.
She wears holes into the seats of all her pants and her feet get filthy when she scoots outside. She wants to get down in stores and at school, and no, sorry- so that’s a constant battle.
And she gets so mad when we try to get her walking! What is that about? We’ve tried holding her hands, standing above her or sitting in front of her. We clap and dance and make a big deal when she takes a step or two, but one of two things seems to happen. She’ll get pouty and say “Hmph!” before ducking her head and glowering. Or she’ll laugh and shake her head no and go scooting off to more important things.
What is this? Attitude already? Yay.
I don’t want to stress about it. But now it’s becoming a bit of a thing. Trying to encourage her to walk isn’t working, and she loves shoes, so we tried a sweet little pair of her very own. She adores them.
She’ll stand in them, bending forward to admire them, and then she sits down and takes them off and gestures and “Ah! Ah!”s at me to put them back on her. And then we repeat that a few times, but no, she doesn’t want to walk in her new shoes either.
It’s her complete lack of enthusiasm about the whole process that perplexes me. She just doesn’t want to do it, and she’s telling us so as plainly as possible. That’s when I remind myself that she is is a child who does everything in her own sweet time – beginning with her birth.
We had three separate false alarms (on a fourth baby! You’d think I’d be able to figure out the real deal at this point, but no, she fooled me all three times) before she was finally ready to be born. And when she decided it was time to do this, she wasn’t messing around. The doctor barely had time to snap on the gloves.
So when she’s shaking her head and scooting off next time I ask her to walk to me, I’ll try to enjoy these last days of her limited mobility. Because I have a feeling that in the not-very-far-off future, she’s going to surprise us all when she starts walking like she’s been doing it for ages.