Thursday, October 6, 2011

Held Back

Ella turned one on Friday (I promise pictures are coming soon), and--in theory--she should have moved over from the infant room to the one-year-old room at her daycare on Monday. But the policy is that the kids can't start in the one-year-old room until they are walking...which Ella is not.

I know that babies walk on their own schedule. I know there is nothing wring. I know that it's not a reflection of me. But yet I can't help but feel that I'm somehow to blame for her being held back.

Ella has great balance, and will stand unassisted for long stretches. She will also cruise along the couch and from one piece of furniture to the next. She'll even take a few little steps on her own if she feels like it. But she is definitely not a consistent walker. Her pediatrician assured me that her legs and feet look fine, and that it will just be a matter of time before Ella truly walks for herself.

I get it--I really do. I know babies develop differently, and Ella is really shining in other areas (like signing).  I'm really trying hard to find the right balance between encouraging her without pushing her.  I just want her to develop the balance, coordination, and confidence that she needs to truly take these next steps, but I need to let her do it at her own pace.

My husband thinks that maybe she's stubborn like him, or a perfectionist like me.  When it came time for me to get my license,  I was disappointed that my parents hadn't brought me out on the country roads to let me practice driving when I was 14 so that I would have known what I was doing by the time I turned 16.  Maybe Ella is feeling the same way.  I'm trying to follow her lead, but I also feel like maybe I should be doing more to encourage walking.  It's a delicate line to walk...figuratively.

Last night's blessing was coming home to an empty dishwasher.  I had to work late, but I was thrilled to come home and see that my husband had unloaded the dishwasher for me.  Sometimes it's the littlest things in life that make my day, and having him step up to help with the chores is so big for me.


  1. It's so tough not to measure - against other children, against "statistics", against where you think things should be. And it's hard not to panic when things don't seem to progress as they "should". But I think your gut reaction is the right one - that she will walk in her own time. And your husband's explanation sounds valid to me - so young but so much personality already! You're a great mother, Laura. It's clear in every word you write.

  2. It is very hard not to compare children in these first few years, but they all balance out eventually. Our kiddo has always been impressive in size and weight, but he didn't officially crawl on hands and knees until 10 months, and didn't walk until 13 months. Like you, we felt a drive to really encourage his walking at his 1 year mark, so we spent more time having him take small steps from me to daddy, and then back again. He loved the attention and we caught a few sessions on camera which makes for fun memories. Ella will be taking off before you know it.


I love to hear what you think!