Monday, March 30, 2009

March Lessons

As Penny's 10th month rapidly comes to a close, I wanted to share an important lesson I've learned this month, which is to not waste time worrying about something to the point that you miss the opportunity to celebrate other potentially more important things. This month, I have been really worked up about Penny's lack of crawling. I still believe my worries were justified, because I'm her mother and it's my job to worry. So often, moms come to my office and say that their doctor didn't listen to them, or that they knew something was going on with their baby, and they weren't taken seriously. So I truly believe that mothers know their children best. All mothers (and fathers) should be taken seriously when they have a concern.

When I had the nagging suspicion that Penny should be crawling by now, I mentioned it to my coworker and friend, the therapist who advised me about the binky issue. I told him that she rolled fairly late, and hasn't really rolled since. I told him that Penny doesn't seem to know how to move her body like other babies her age. She can pull up on some things, and prefers to stand with support. But other than that, she stays put on the floor (I know, I should be GLAD she stays where I put her...) He told me that he thought Penny might be delayed for crawling, to which I said, "I knew it!"
I said, "Ok, the BOOK says that sometimes kids skip crawling altogether." He said, "Yeah, there's usually a reason for that." Then he asked me some questions and gave me some ideas of things I could do at home, and then offered to come over sometime to check her. I appreciated this greatly and I tried some of the things he suggested, like practicing climbing on the stairs. Which she detested immensely.

Meanwhile, we borrowed Penny's cousin's walker, which her cousin doesn't need anymore, since she started walking at 10 months (!). Yes, this is another reason why I'm crazy. Lesson Number One: All babies are on their own developmental timeline. I know this, I say this to other parents all the time. But it is HARD NOT TO COMPARE YOUR CHILD TO OTHER CHILDREN. Especially when you are a competitive person, like I am. (Lisa Simpson: "Grade me! Grade me! Evaluate and Rank Me!")

But Penny loves the walker. She went backwards at first, but after enough incentive (think about a donkey with a carrot dangling above her head), she got the hang of going forward, and now totters along in it, shouting happily, arms flailing, around our tiny house.

Then guess what happened? The next time I put her down on her tummy, she pushed with her arms and scooted backwards, up and back, up and back, in a military crawling fashion. She hollered the whole time. But she moved. Lesson Number Two: I need to give my child more credit.

Me: Wow, look how far you went!
Penny: Just put the camera away.

Here are some other things she started doing, just in the past 3 days:
1. Claps enthusiastically.
2. Growls when asked, "What does the tiger say?" (Especially if she can see the tiger).
3. Points to the kitten in Good Night Moon, when asked, "Where's the kitty?"
4. Signs "More." At first I thought she was clapping, but then she did it when I asked if she wanted MORE blueberries. Twice.

Holy crap! Lesson Number Three: I need to chill the frak out and celebrate all of the amazing things my baby is doing. A friend recently told me that she worried all the time about her first child, to the point that she missed a lot of quality time with her baby. Wow, I need to remember that. I'm not really ready to chase Penny around the house. I don't want her to grow up too fast. But as her mother, I also want to make sure I'm not missing the chance to help her if she needs it.

It's a fine line, isn't it?


Momcat said...

I'll bet you she will not be crawling into kindergarten on the first day. Kids are masters at "not being able" to learn things they just don't want to be bothered with.

Ironic collector said...


First: your little sprite is going to be just fine. And she's adorable

Second: yes, the house was a steal. But more like stealing a kiss and winding up with herpes

Third: What, this lampshade? IKEA baby!

Anonymous said...

"She went backwards at first, but after enough incentive (think about a donkey with a carrot dangling above her head), she got the hang of going forward..."

Incentive = a potholder, ha ha. I would know, I was there.