When when when will baby do the walking?

1 Apr

Baby is 15 months and not yet walking. I say this with full expectation that one day he will indeed walk. And talk. Eat food. Do math. Don’t get me wrong, we will love him whether or not he does these things. And perhaps, given that we’re on schedule to give him deadly, autism-causing vaccinations, he won’t do some of these things. But he was born with club foot, he’s 15 months, and he is not yet walking.

It’s hard to avoid obsessing with at least some piece of the bell curves of development. To avoid it completely. Intellectually, this makes no sense whatsoever. It is a bell curve, standard deviations around a mean. 1.64 standard deviations encompass 90%. 1.96 SDs encompass 95%. 2.58 encompass 99%. If the average is 11 months, with a standard deviation of 2 months, one in a hundred babies will walk at 16 months. Easily, one in a thousand should be walking at a year and a half. Normal, normal, normal.

At the Tot Lot, a wildly unrepresentative (of Brooklyn, of America, sometimes even of Park Slope) clump of kids and caregivers, a mother tells me, unsolicited, that her daughter is small for her age. A father, when I ask how old his baby boy is, tells me: 14 months. He’s not walking though. But he’s cruising, and that’s what’s important, right? Right? Riiiiiiiggghhhhht?

I try to repeat what a close friend with slightly older kids once told me. That by the time they’re 8, they all walk and talk. Further, you forget about when and which kids walked or talked. What looms large while before you looks little when behind you (ok, that last part is me, not Cary).

I’m not sure what my point is here. I somehow imagine that Pioneer parents never thought much about such things, that they were too busy rendering tallow for candles, or chopping wood, or hunting wild boar. We theorize the hell out our babies, and wonder from where our worries come. Still, I’ll be happier when baby starts walking.


3 Responses to “When when when will baby do the walking?”

  1. Davin April 1, 2012 at 7:48 am #

    Heh. Don’t worry – there will ALWAYS be milestones he’s in danger of missing. When he walks, you can relax until you realize he isn’t standing on one foot, or hopping, or remembering to count the number 16, or enunciating his R’s clearly enough, or whatever is next on the list. This doesn’t go away ever, at least until he (finally, what was he friggin’ waiting for?) supplies you with a satisfactory number of grandchildren, and then you can worry about THEM walking.

  2. Davin April 1, 2012 at 7:50 am #

    Oh, and you know, fill in the part about Park Slope adding to this particular stress, Queenz rocks, etc, etc.

  3. Peter April 1, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    About the milestone, I definitely know. I wonder if part of the angst comes from the fact that in US middle-class living, there’s a back-of-mind feeling of competition. For schools, jobs, prestige, etc. etc.

    Actually, wouldn’t even say US middle-class..would say very small sections of the US, among a very small slice of demographic. But I think we’re in it..

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