Walking. It’s such a simple activity, something so many of us take for granted. A nice walk on a summer’s day, a gentle stroll along a beach, a hurried run up a flight of stairs.
The pace that we travel through the world is set by how we walk, changing as we age. Those first bumpy steps that mark a baby’s transition to toddlerhood. The slowed shuffle of an elderly person wandering down a supermarket aisle. That gentle placing of each foot in front of the other is an action we don’t even think about. We just do it.
Unless we can’t.
This time last year I had a non-toddling toddler. As my baby approached her second birthday she was the child sitting in the middle of the floor, watching helplessly as her peers ran and chased each other across the room. She withdrew, hiding behind frightened fingers, terrified she’d be trampled on or – worse – be left behind.
The hospital appointments notched up, the physiotherapy sessions increased and, eventually, we had an answer to the lack of walking. Hypermobility was to blame. A consultant calmly explained that our daughter’s joints were, quite simply, too bendy to hold her upright.
Her ankle ligaments were like pieces of chewing gum, stretching and stretching until, eventually, they hit something and stopped. In her case it was the floor, meaning her feet splayed outwards at 90 degree angles, with her ankle joint entirely on the floor. She was trying to balance on the surface area equivalent to the side of a pencil. Impossible.
When she started walking just before her second birthday, I cried. Watching her put one foot in front of the other all on her own melted me. The relief of her smile caught in my throat as I hugged my congratulations and whispered how proud she made me.
From that moment, her legs have strengthened and we went from doddery walking to running, climbing to jumping. She walks on clouds now, her toes barely touching the ground as she races from one game to the next.
We walked our neighbour’s dog at the weekend. I took the buggy, just in case. But as we approached the muddy canal path, Frog asked to get out. “I chase Boots?” she shouted.
This time last year she wasn’t walking.
Now look at her.
This post was written towards this week’s Gallery at Sticky Fingers, where the theme is Walks.
And on another note, nominations are now open for the Brilliance in Blogging Awards. If you wanted to chuck a nod my way for the Writer or Family category, I would be eternally grateful.
I can only imagine the emotions you must feel when you think about last year and watch her now. Walking on clouds…I like the imagery!
Oh wow, what a lovely post. It must have been so hard for you. And walking is something I think we just take for granted!
It wasn’t the best time but we got there in the end. Thankfully.
Oh my I can remember you writing about her not walking last year so to see this full running action shot it epic!
I love it!
older mum in a muddle said:
Such a lovely post, and so glad to hear that she is now walking and jumping and running – a big, big relief for you I should imagine!
It really is!
The Fool said:
I actually discovered your blog last year when I spotted your posts about this, we were worried about Matilda and was really interesting to read about what you were going through. It must be so incredible to see her running around now, these children are amazing creatures aren’t they?
P.S. that view looks scarily like the one I get of Matilda most of the time, racing away in her pink suit
I too, found your blog when i googled non walking toddlers. I have 2 yr old twins that just turned 2 and one is not walking. I have been to physios which i haven’t been happy with but tomorrow am seeing a new one who i hope is better with children. I am worried am frustrated as i just want him to be able to play with his brother. I am hoping our physio tomorrow can shed some light. If not i guess i will just keep doing exercises and seeking answers!
I hope your appointment goes well – just keep seeking advice and help if you’re not happy. Almost a year on and I’ve almost forgotten how hard it was this time last year. It WILL get better.