Many of our friends and family know that Rose has been on a Gross Motor Skill journey. One that she didn’t really care to be on at all, and one that we have been very ambivalent about. But at 17 months, Ladies and Gentlemen– we have a crawler!
We’d heard all the talk about fourth babies when she was still in my tummy: Watch out she’ll be trying to keep up with the big kids and be an early walker! Watch out, you’ll be so busy, she’ll be on the floor a lot and learn to fend for herself! So, naturally, (for me) I was prepared to have this super goal-oriented baby who I would secretly try to hinder in to staying my last baby forever. And then I promptly ordered a super fancy Tula so I could wear her around until the end of time.
Little did I know that she would be the absolute, exact opposite. At a few months old she showed zero interest in rolling. So happily, content to just lay there. Loved to interact with all of us but didn’t really care about trying to move or play with toys. As a mother, I was totally fine with this. Simply stated, rolling babies are bittersweet. Cool! They rolled! They are so advanced!! Shit, they can move around now.
It took me a long time to start worrying– shocker, I know. All of my babies rolled at 4-5 months, crawled at 7ish months, and walked at 13 months (except Brendan who walked at 10.5 months.) I can’t remember exactly when Rose started rolling but I think it was closer to 9 months. At that point, I assumed she was just on her own schedule, which she was. At every appointment the pediatrician would ask about her development and offer up a physical therapy referral. We’d politely decline. I honestly just thought that was a dumb idea. I’m so tired of doctors unnecessarily suggesting things (like the bloodwork and nutritionist referral they gave me for Brendan. Yes, he is very thin and has a BMI of <1, but Matt and I are naturally smaller people and I promise you, he eats super healthy and has good energy. Sorry, clearly still annoyed by that one). Let’s just wait and see if she’s doing it by the next appointment.
When I was in my own therapy, my therapist told me to stop googling health stuff!!!! I’ve been so good, but I couldn’t help it. I started googling reasons why my one year old still wasn’t crawling. All this stuff about terrible muscle development and how she’d never walk ever and basically just die popped up. My logical side noticed that she didn’t want to put any weight on her feet, didn’t want to bounce on the tops of my thighs when I would sit…all the other stuff I remembered my other babies doing. Noooope, shouldn’t have done that! I’ve gotten pretty good at separating from my anxiety, but all that info was still at the back of my mind.
Our close family and friends were and are super supportive and positive, but yes, there were and are the people who were adamant that something was terribly wrong. I just didn’t know whether I wanted to tell them to f off or rush back to the pediatrician and accept the referral. And then there were also the people who would ask if she was walking yet and doing this, that, or the other. Usually, I’d laugh and say, “walking? She just rolled over last week.” And then people would say, “Awwww” Or “ohhhhh! She’s not crawling? Oh well, I’m sure she will soon. I bet she can, but she just doesn’t want to.” Nope, Rose straight up couldn’t physically lift her tummy off the ground, but I would just chuckle along.
Her 15-month appt. came and still nothing. She was rolling which I thought was a huge improvement (worthy of bragging about to our pediatrician), but still not standing or pulling up on anything. She was making all these advances, huge on her scale, but small on the baby books scale. Eye roll. Our pediatrician, who I really do love, said that they like to see babies walking by 15 months. Matt and I almost giggled. I think we may have; I don’t remember. When I said she was nowhere near walking, she said, “Well, are you wanting to help her, NOW, and do the physical therapy?” I got super offended, but of course, I was like, sure! Oh definitely! Listen, here I’ve been trying not to freak out about all this and not be that person with severe health anxiety and no reliable mom gut and just be patient and supportive of my child’s time table and this stranger lady made me feel like I nap all day and leave my impaired daughter in her car seat for hours.
Anyways, we took the referral, had her evaluation at Children’s Village in Yakima. FYI, the ladies we saw there were just awesome. Rose qualified for physical therapy, no surprise there, and then we just had to wait for a call. Which took about three weeks. They called. I missed the call. Rose was starting to pull a knee up and army crawl around the house. So, I didn’t return the call. I think I was just waiting. Maybe I could just give her a little more time. I know it sounds silly, but I’ve just had total Mom Faith in her this whole time. Most of the time I felt like nothing was seriously wrong. I wanted to let her do it her way and praise her along the way like she was the genius she is. They called again, and I legitimately missed the call again. Then it was the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. I’d call them back on Monday.
But on that Sunday night when we were celebrating our fourth Thanksgiving at my in-laws, Rose got up on both knees and crawled towards a little, floral ceramic tea set. THAT’S MY GIRL!! That’s my freaking, totally healthy, genius baby girl. If I wouldn’t have been around a bunch of family I would have burst into tears.
So now we have a 17-month-old crawler, and guys, mostly Moms, it’s so cool to see. I’ve already had people say, “Oh, I bet she’ll be walking by the end of the week, now!” But I know my Rose and I know she’ll make us wait for it. I also feel like it’s a sneak into the future. I bet she’ll take this route on so many of her adventures and personal growth. I can’t wait to watch her grow up, even if it takes a lifetime.
Dear Roselie, I’m so grateful for the extra time you gave me with my last “baby.” Onward and upward (hopefully, to walking!), big girl!