Sunday, June 23, 2013

What a difference...

What a difference a year makes, especially in the lives of children.  Last summer, I had a 1-year-old.  More importantly to my life, I had a 1-year-old who Would. Not. Walk.  I know, I know, all children walk in their own time, he was building lots of neuron connections that will help him later in life, he walked at just the right time for him, you'll be in trouble when he starts walking, blah blah blah.  Sorry folks, I know you meant well and I KNOW that he walked when he was ready but after Katie had started walking right around her first birthday, I was expecting (with my other May baby) that we would get to go out and play at least a little last summer.  Parks (when it wasn't too hot), the POOL(!), the children's museum, indoor play areas, etc.

Instead, I had a child who was every bit as active as a running, jumping, climbing toddler, only without the running and jumping.  It is hard to take a crawler to a southern park in the summer because it is HOT!  Plus, mulch is not so easy on the knees.  Scratch the baby pool in the neighborhood, he tried crawling across it and just ended up drinking the water.  He wouldn't stay in one of the infant floaties in the big pool which meant I had to hold him the whole time while he tried crawling up my shoulder and I am trying to squat down in the shallow end so he is actually in the water.  That is not a position my back agrees with very well.  We ended up just going to the pool for the 30 minutes that Katie had swim team practice.  For swim meets, he was stuck in the super hot stroller.  I couldn't exactly let him crawl around on the scorching hot pool deck where there were 500 hundred parents and children potentially stepping on him.

As May turned into June, turned into July, turned into August with still no sign that he was going to walk, I got to a point where I would let him crawl on virtually any reasonably safe surface.  Germs, schmerms.  Anywhere I could put him down without out him hurting himself or others, I did because he was HEAVY.  I joined the local children's museum out of desperation, even though it is 30 minutes from my house, because I needed SOMEWHERE indoors, outside of my house, that I could put him down and just let him play.

When he finally walked on Thanksgiving Day at 18 months and 1 week old, angels sang loud HALLELUJAHS in my head.  It was a big deal, if only to me.  Now, he can run and jump and play as he really wanted to last summer.  He can go the playground and do everything he wants to do without me having to lift him up everywhere.  He can splash and play in the baby pool and I can sit on the side while he plays without worrying about him drowning or drinking all of the water.

And my body can heal and recover.  Halfway through last summer I suffered a back spasm related to an old injury making it even more difficult to cart him around places.  Carrying him was very difficult but it some places, carrying him wasn't optional.  Since he started walking I have been able to work through the back spasm and build more strength so that I am better able to carry him when I need to.  Even better, I can relax a little bit while he runs around letting off the energy that bubbles out of him without worrying that someone will inadvertently step on him or wonder if his hands are tracking through something unmentionable.

What a difference a year makes...

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