Monday, April 2, 2012

Moving Around

I've been thinking about movement today.

These thoughts linger with me particularly after a conversation with another mom at story time today.  She was certainly not the first mother that has expressed a little envy at the fact that my own daughter, of toddling age, isn't toddling yet.  Or moving really at all, beyond a few inches here and there.

Yes, occasionally when I'm feeling lazy, the fact that I can sit with Cora in my lap while the rest of the moms chase their crazy children all over the place seems like a benefit.  The fact that I can plop her in the center of the room with a toy or a book and walk away, confident that she will be in the same place when I return, has some positive aspects.

And I understand that a typical babyhood goes by so fast.  Before you know it, your baby is moving and crawling, shimmying and shaking, running all over the place and you can barely baby proof fast enough, let alone ever keep up. I get it.  I see it happening all around me.

In the meantime I am trying to patiently coax a girl who for months has been barely army crawling into a quadruped, kicking and screaming all the way.  I am trying to convince her to push up on her arms, to learn to get into sitting on her own, to even attempt to move from her comfort zone the slightest.  But she'd rather me do things for her.  Get things for her.

And I keep thinking of all the things she's still missing out on:  interacting with others other than me, getting to the good stuff, experiencing a sense of independence (beyond the control she manages to wrestle when choosing what to eat and when to keep us awake at night).  I have to keep reminding myself that she'll get there.  But it's hard not to think that she could benefit so much from it now.

A lot of this is just her personality.  She's not ready to do things until she's good and ready.  And she's not inclined to want to move around.  She loves to sit and play, be played with, read and sing and interact, all while sitting on her cute little tush.

And that's OK, really.

But sometimes it bothers me when people tell me how great it is that she doesn't want to move.  They are completely speaking from their own exhaustion, this I know.  They don't even think about the fact that it hurts me just a bit, that my own girl isn't quite capable yet, or if she is capable, she's not ready.  And that this is taking a great deal of work for her to do things that their own children were doing in the blink of an eye and with virtually no encouragement.

So sometimes it gets annoying.

But I know that the intent is good.  And I really do appreciate the interaction with the other mamas.  I like it that Cora gets to watch their children run around and play, hoping that one day she might find the idea of joining in appealing.

In the meantime, I try and encourage her independence.  I don't run to get her things, but try to help her get them herself.  But she still needs a lot of help.  And I'm here to help her.


  1. Well said Leah. There are so many things in life that others cannot even begin to understand until they walk in another's shoes. Everyone's journey is so different. Keep up the beautiful work on yours.

  2. I totally agree. I don't like it when people who don't really know what it is like try to encourage me. This is my first time to visit your blog & I am your newest follower! I have a 22 mo old with Ds.

  3. I've now been on both sides of the coin. My first three children hit all the typical milestones right on target. My fourth little one with the magical extra chromosome makes me as nervous as a first time mother. I always feel like there is something more I could be doing to help her strength and development, even though I also know that every child, no matter how many chromosomes they have will develop in their own way and in their own time. But its not easy to wait it out. You're doing an excellent job and Cora is a beautiful girl.

  4. I'm right there with you mama!
    Nava belly crawled forever (like over a year).

    My growing up as a DS mama very much happened in relation to her movement challenges. Wheras before I was very hot (fix it! run around like a chicken seeking emergency fix!) or cold (no problem, nothing to do, lets not talk about it)..I had to learn acceptance, learn advocacy, learn how to support her where she's at, figure out that my coping mechanism of denial and then guilt (rinse repeat) was just not gonna cut it. I learned a lot. I learned to be able to deal with something (get more PT, get a home program going that was robust) without letting my anxious self take it to extremes or let myself get all worried about something that she was gonna do in her own time. Playgroup was hard to watch. Realizing I was the only mam who could sit in place the whole time while everyone else had to go rescue a child from the steps or pull them off the bookcase...

    She crawled on all fours (without warning of course) at almost 23 months. Mama says "Yay! Go baby go! Progress! She'll get there when she gets there. So great. I'm sure she'll walk by 3rd b-day, it will be fine...." Basks in feeling of happiness over reaching a milestone and me not having hangups about it anymore. Pats self on back.

    Then 3 weeks later she took her first steps.
    While I was out of town.
    The little show off...

    Its great that you are processing this and able to vent instead of internalize! I had to learn that too...

  5. What a great post Leah! I wish I had some great words of wisdom but I don' are right, their intent is good but it doesn't change the way you feel. My oldest two hit every milestone on target. My 2nd actually hit them earlier than most...he was sitting on my kitchen table at 7 or 8 months (he didn't even know how to crawl and managed to get himself there). It has made having Hailey a shock to my patience. I feel like a first time mom when it comes to her. I have learned one thing through the 3 of them though. They will not do anything until they are good and ready, I think Cora has already exhibited this. Don't roll your eyes...I know you have heard it before. When Brayden was 2, we started potty training. We did EVERYTHING...stickers, goldfish crackers, skittles, toy cars...even money! We did the no pull ups, letting him run around in big boy underwear (that just resulted in me having a TON of laundry because he didn't care! I pushed for a year to potty train that boy...the tears, the frustration, etc. Finally at 3, I gave up! I was deflated. 4 months later, the lightbulb went off, he decided he no longer wanted pull ups. From that day on, he was potty trained. I put myself through pure torture for a full year and he wasn't ready. I know this story isn't the same as Cora and her gross motor, but the overall is the same. You are doing the best you can do. You are providing her what she needs, you are guiding, you are loving her...she will get there!

    By the the pics of Cora!!!!

  6. Oh Leah, I so totally know what you are feeling. Russell is only a year older than Cora so the feelings and thoughts you write down in this post are still very fresh for me...I remember feeling everything you wrote here.

    It made me sad at times that Russell wasn't able to crawl or run around like other kids his age, I always felt he was missing out...I remember people trying to comfort me with words like "He'll do it, when he's ready, he'll walk one day"...And it hurt my heart so badly because I knew he would walk one day, but I wanted one day to be now.

    Russell didn't four point crawl until about 18 months...We couldn't even put him up on his knees, he refused, so we backed off for a while...Then one day he just up and did it on his own! He walked right around his 2nd Birthday...It was a day I dreamed of for so very long...And so worth the wait. Today we did blood work and Russell ran around that waiting room raising hell wherever he went, lol...And it was hard to remember a time where he wasn't walking.

    I found the waiting was hard and there were days it hurt more than others...But it will happen, and in the end it doesn't really matter when they do it, because they do. Cora isn't missing out on anything, she is taking everything in and learning everyday...And when she starts crawling and walking there will be no stopping her. Hang in there, you are doing a great job with that little one. Beautiful pictures on here by the way :)

  7. Hang in there Leah! Cora will be on the move sooner than later. I actually have the opposite worries for Ben. He has no signs. He doesn't have many sounds. He definitely doesn't recognize colors like your awesome Cora:) I often have to slow down and remind myself that he will do things in his own time. I'm hoping he's just a late bloomer in the speech department like his older brother. Colin didn't talk until he was 2 and a half.

  8. I remember people saying the exact same thing to me with Lucas. They think they're being nice but yes, it's annoying. I was pretty desperate to get Lucas crawling and worked with him obsessively but he did it on his own timeline. It will be wonderful when she starts crawling and you'll enjoy watching her explore, I never found it exhausting. I've found that after Lucas started walking I could relax a little but now we are pushing speech, it's always something ;)


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