last week, on fishie's eleven month birthday, i took her to the doctor for her nine month check up. yeah, i know, i was a bit behind. but i didn't have any questions or concerns, and anybody that's seen her knows she's growing and healthy. and she wasn't due for any shots that would have thrown off her immunization schedule, so her doctor was fine with missing the original appointment and rescheduling. and doing that again. and again.
anyway, there are the normal goings on of checking her height (very long) and head circumference (big and bobbly) and weight (huge!). then comes all the developmental questions, whether she is eating solid foods, and trying to use a pincher grasp to feed herself (of course she is, how do you think she got this big, by not eating?). if she looks toward sounds and says words, which i wasn't so sure about. when babies talk, it's a magical thing, and because half of the noises she makes can be interpreted as many different words, every one thinks that she is saying something different (person a: of course she called my name, didn't you hear her? me: i thought she just said "dog.") but she does try to say things, and she's very good a mimicking her brothers, they like to play a game where they make sounds and then she makes the same sounds. which is very cute to hear, and supposedly that is also means she's right on track with her talking. or "talking" as i like to say, and yes, i'm known to use air quotes.
one of the last things her doctor ask was if she is crawling. check, she's been crawling for weeks now. and pulling herself up? that's old hat for her. and standing? just started standing last week. but i was still worried, because she hasn't started walking yet. the look of "you must be crazy" i got from the doctor made me feel quite silly. and yet i wasn't very reassured about the fact that she wasn't walking.
now, if you haven't had kids, you wouldn't know, but anyone that has would realize that most babies don't walk at 11 months. most babies don't really walk at one year. well, a few steps here and there are normal, but most babies are content to continue crawling. i did not know that's what most babies did, because my previous babies had been walking all by themselves all over the place on their first birthdays. to me, that was the norm, walking and running to your first birthday cake. how was i to know that my baby boys had been advance in the movement department?
after talking with my mom, who i look to for guidance in these matter (i mean, i turned out just swell, so she must know what she's doing), i came to realize that my boys had to learn to walk early if they wanted to get anywhere, because they never really learned to crawl. no, when they were babies, they both did what we affectionately referred to as the commando crawl. they pulled themselves along on their elbows, with their forearms, and they never got their little butts in the air. so when they could take their first steps, it didn't take them long to realize that this was way faster than any crawling that they could do. so they took off, both of them walking between ten and eleven months. so why wasn't my poor fishie walking? what was wrong with my beautiful baby girl? was this one of the differences between boys and girls that people kept telling me about?
no, it was just because my fishie can crawl. if there were crawling baby races going on right now (and i know they exists), i would totally enter her. she'd beat the diapers off the competition! i'd just have to explain that yes, she really is less than one year, just because she's twice the size of a normal baby doesn't mean she's twice the age. but she can't walk yet, because she doesn't have to. she can get to where she needs to go on her hands and knees. which is fine. and normal. so i really didn't have anything to worry about.
not that i'm worried anymore anyway. because this weekend she started taking steps. she's very good at pulling herself up, and if you put her in the middle of a room and let go, half the time she just stands there looking around. now she also tries to get her feet going, using only the power of her mind. so now i feel better. i know all babies are different, they all develop at different ways and at different rates. but it's nice to know that my babies have stayed the same. what's normal for them might not be normal for all, but with fishie following the milestones set forth by bumble and lumpy, i have a better idea of what to expect from her when.
it's really a comfort that babies are babies, no matter the gender. at least in my family.