Touch of spice |

Touch of spice

One step at a time

Christina M. Currie

His eight-month-old baby is trying to walk.

He tells me the whole story (it’s a parent thing). She’s pulling herself up and lurching around holding onto his two fingers. She even initiates the activity.

She’s close.

I can’t bring myself to tell him I’ve got one baby who’s closer to 15 months than she is 14 months and she’s not walking.

It’s not so much that she’s not walking, it’s that she has no desire to walk.

Crawling gets me from A to B just fine, thank you very much.

Now that she’s learned how to carry her bottle in her teeth and progress forward at the same time, it’s even worse. Until she becomes responsible for buying her own clothes, there’s nothing to encourage her to join the rest of us bipeds.

Not even keeping up with her extremely mobile sister is an incentive to put one foot in front of the other without support from the couch.

It’s not that she can’t do it. She definitely has all the steps (no pun intended) nailed down. She just won’t.

At first I thought she was afraid. She won’t go from standing to sitting without keeping one hand firmly on the side of the coffee table.

Next thing I saw, she was balanced on the seat of Katie’s tricycle trying to get one leg over the side of the crib.

Yeah. She’s afraid.


I’m pretty OK with giving her the time she needs to figure it out (my biceps wish she were faster, but hey, they need the work, too.) Katie didn’t walk until she was 14 months old and then she hit the ground running, so I think I can handle the wait.

It’s just when I see a tiny, tiny little one (wearing ribbons because she was born with hair) tottering among the aisles in Kmart that I look at my chunky monkey and wonder “when?”

Then again, childhood goes so fast. They’re not babies for long. Take advantage of it while you can. It won’t be long until you’re telling them to sit down and be quiet.

I’m a fairly intelligent, mobile person and I don’t have a clue when I cut my first tooth or took my first step.

By the time you hit 5, no one cares, least of all you, about your stages of development as compared with “normal” and in what percentile you were ranked.

That’s what parents tell themselves. Especially parents whose children didn’t walk until after they were 14 months old.

But that’s not the only challenge my second-born has.

Drinking is another challenge for the baby. Katie learned to drink from a cup early by practicing in the bathtub. The baby doesn’t get that opportunity because Katie takes possession of all the cups immediately upon entering the bathtub.

She mostly uses them to pour water over Nikki’s head.

Nikki demonstrated her lack of drinking skills last weekend at the annual Rayl Family Football Party (food, friends, football. What more can you ask?).

Nikki and cousin Megan were inseparable. Megan tried to teach the baby how to walk and, in turn, Nikki taught Megan a few things about babies.

Now that Megan has a baby brother she’ll soon learn that you have to monitor everything within reach of an active baby, but she’s still new to the concept. She didn’t notice when Nikki reached for a can of cola and went to take a long drink.

Unfortunately, she missed her mouth by about four inches and poured half the can in Megan’s lap.

Megan, wearing pre-faded and dirt-stained jeans that are all the rage ($30 to buy them looking that way) was concerned mostly about whether they would stain.


She didn’t walk too comfortably after that either.

Megan, her mother tells me, started walking when she was 9-months-old.

I guess when you start walking isn’t really a measure of intelligence or future potential.

(Note to Megan: Remember that even when I set your shoe floating in the toilet of the men’s bathroom as punishment for being mouthy or make you blush when I say “armpit,” I still love you. You’re beautiful.)

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