Frog turned 20 months old yesterday.
She’s still not walking.
Unfortunately for my child, she’s been blessed with rather wonky feet and very long lanky legs. Just like her dad.
Also, unfortunately for my child, every pavement in Britain isn’t littered with a permanent handrail on which to balance while trying to negotiate life on two feet.
Each trip out of the house is fraught with anger and frustration. As other small people wander around, wreaking havoc on the world, my non-toddling toddler can only look on in dismay.
We’ve gone past the “Who gives a monkeys?” stage now. Instead, Frog is jealous and upset. She wants to join in but doesn’t know how. She has the language to demand other children take notice, but is left sitting in the corner, alone, as they skip off to play.
And as a mum, I now feel very much alone too.
The knowing smiles and reassurances of, “She’ll do it when she’s ready” have disappeared.
At baby swimming, I try to prop my daughter up to help her jump from the side, rather than simply flopping off the edge. All the other mums stand a metre or so back, waiting for their children to splash into their arms. Frog sees me trying to help and bats me away. Again, the tears and frustration.
At the baby sing-along class, the other toddlers march, hop and skip about the room to the beat of the music. My child is the only one still clutching her mother’s hand. Occasional attempts at letting go result in a wobble and fall to the ground. She’s left confused as the other children dance around her.
Now that we know there may be a problem, I’ve stopped mentioning the non-toddling status of my toddler to other mums. I’m sick of explaining away the raised eyebrows when the question of her age comes up. Instead, I let them make up their own minds. Is her speech just highly developed for an 11 month old? Or is there something wrong with her?
I leave the question hanging in the air between us.
Frog has one month to go until she passes the family record set by her dad for non-walking. As a bum-shuffler, I’m told the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine didn’t even stand until he was 21 months. But Frog is a crawler. She’s been standing and trying to walk for months now. Trying but failing.
And then I see the hospital date deadline looming in the future. 4th April.
Will the wonky feet have corrected themselves by then? Is there a hip problem? Will it all magically disappear one day as Frog gets up and puts one foot in front of the other, by herself? Or are we facing yet more months of frustration and tears?
If I could walk a day in my daughter’s shoes, I would.
I would stand for her and leap about and chase the other children she’s so intent on playing with. I would reach for things that can’t be reached on all fours. I would open cupboards and climb on tables and run through parks.
I would let go of my mother’s hands and embrace freedom.
Nominations are now open for the Brilliance in Blogging Awards. If you would like to nominate me, you will need my name (Mother’s Always Right) and my URL (http://mothersalwaysright.wordpress.com). There are 11 categories. I like the look of Lit but I wouldn’t shun a nomination in any category. Even the one for Daddy Bloggers. Although I rather think the actual dads may have something to say about that…