to market, to market, to fall on my rump

If you want to get all technical about it, the tots are fifteen and a half months old. But given that they were in tiny boxes trying to fatten up in a hospital for eight weeks, we’re told to give ’em some gestational slack. Until they turn three years old, we’re to refer to their adjusted age, which would mean that they’re now thirteen and a half months old. It makes sense, considering they still should have been cooking for another 10 weeks in incubators.

I’m by no means worried, just reporting. Lucas doesn’t walk, yet. No, that’s not quite right. He walks along walls and all the furniture, climbs stairs, and up onto dangerous monster toys, then figures out how exactly to get back down (sometimes it’s on his head, other times, ever so slowly, he lands on both feet).I love to watch him figure it out, especially when he’s on his belly, that one foot feeling around, measuring its way down to the carpet. His first word was a few months ago. Baby. I imagine baby came first because whenever I see him, I say, "Hello my beh-be" in a random French accent. I don’t know why. There’s no excuse for a man to wear a beret, and I have no immediate plans to teach him French. "Oh, my beh-be, you’re very sweet. Yes, who’s my sweet bean?" I cannot help myself. Whenever I speak to Lucas, it’s as though I’m chatting it up with Linus. How I love them both.

Pediatricwalker Luke (I find I’m calling him that now) says ball, baby, hi, hey, Papa, bye, hat, go, and car but walking he doesn’t do. Not on his own anyway. I’ve of course heard the comparison drawn between infants and the elderly, from diapers to feedings. But I’d never once imagined a toddler with a granny walker.We have both a physical and occupational therapist come once a week. Recently, they left what can only be described as a hollowed shopping cart. It’s made of aluminum, I believe. Shiny. The more he practices walking, the more comfortable. Yes, this is all assuming his sister won’t mow him down with it.

Not only does Kind Sir have a "pediatric walker," he’s also been given a girdle. The girdle was designed to keep his upper legs together, but it wasn’t effective. Next, came in a corset, a leg corset, or "leg guards" if you will, to keep his legs straight. To look at him, you’d know none of this. Having a sister who has been prancing about like a sprite since she turned nine months hasn’t exactly motivated him. He’s on his own timeline, and I don’t blame him.

Still, our goal is my stepsister’s wedding in September, where he will be a ring bearer, and where Little Miss will be the flower girl. Either way, on his own or with the walker*, he’s a little adorable dumpling, who also says agua (he’s learning Spanish).And just about the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen is when Abigail stands behind him, grabs the handle, and pushes him like he’s a shopping cart. I MUST get this on film!

*And as a side note, I deleted my un-pc reference, mostly because I tend to make fun of things that scare me. So please forgive the insensitivity.



  1. Don't worry Stephanie! I was in your boat with my daughter who was also preemie and is 21.5 months now (her adjusted age is 20 months). She didn't start walking until she was nearly 17 months (actual age). We also had PT & OT, which helped immensely. Hang in there – Lucas will be running around before you know it! ;)

  2. Stephanie,
    Salem didn't walk until 18 1/2 months. I've heard the longer they crawl the better their hand-eye coordination. He does throw a ball like a pro, even though he named his imaginary pony 'Window' the other day…He may very well ride the short bus to school, well at least he can walk to the bus stop!!

  3. This post made me smile. :) Your children sound adorable. I love the image of Lucas measuring the carpet with one foot.

    I nannied for twins several years ago and one of them was in occupational therapy because he was a later walker and a bit of a slower developer compared to the other twin. The boys are now 5 years old and you would NEVER know there was ever a discrepancy in their development. They are both brilliant and agile little gents!

  4. Does your new nanny speak spanish with them? Or is he learning it from you? Either way, I think it's a great idea.
    PS I hope whomever Phil works for isn't affected by the Bear Stearns thing!
    Best wishes

    FROM SK: Yes, our nanny (we couldn't love her more) speaks both Spanish and English to them, and I speak both to them as well, but I'm not exactly fluent in Spanish, despite taking it from 5th grade all the way through Sr. year of college. If you don't use it, you lose it.

  5. Is not walking even at 15 months cause for concern? I don't have children, but both my nephew and a good friend's son didn't start until then, and they were both full-term babies.

  6. Stephanie, you must be overwhelmed with so much to do. How do you find the time?

  7. Stephanie, thanks for removing the comment, and for acknowledging that you removed it. It's one of those words that I find so very offensive, offensive enough that for a while I considered removing the link to your blog from mine, and not coming back to read anymore. Now, I'm really glad I don't have to do that, because I really love your blog.

    Your explanation about making fun of things that scare was very honest and heartfelt. Thank you…

  8. My twins were 29 weekers and didn't walk until they were 14 months. My mother had a great analogy at the time — "It's always toughest to get the first olive out of the jar." In a few more months, the milestones will start coming faster than you can record them. Don't sweat the small stuff; this is when it starts to get really fun.

  9. While I respect the feelings of those offended by your comment, I appreciate your use of humor to get yourself through these situations. Stressing ages us, and our children can feel it. Laughter is certainly the best medicine. Making light of that which scares us often enables seeing the silver lining in the cloud. You and Phil are so brave, and I admire you both very much.

  10. I don't think I've ever offered childcare advice & I suspect I won't again, but I'm going to take the plunge: Luke Babywalker & Little Miss will still be too young in September to participate in a wedding, especially (no offense to your stepsister intended) in the current climate of Extreme Bridal Entitlement Bordering on Insanity.

  11. My son was full-term and an early talker, but he didn't start crawling until he was 11 months and didn't walk until 16 m. Totally on schedule (or ahead) in every other aspect of development, just very cautious and not exactly athletic (but then again, neither are his parents) :)

    Can only imagine how beautiful Lucas and Abigail will look in the wedding party!

  12. My friend's son used one of those walkers for a while and he's now a champion walker. Hopefully Lucas won't have to use it long. :)

  13. It's part of being a red head – my niece was born sans pituitary gland – so whenever people ask me how she's doing i send them a photo of her looking cross eyed at the camera…everyone responds .."Oh she's beautiful" – only the people who truly know me get it

  14. I have been reading your blog for a while and just checked back in. My daughter was on time…she did not roll, didn't crawl or stand! We took her to a pediatric neruologist and she said she was fine at 14 months…she still didn't walk. At 22.5 months she finally took 10 steps. That was all it took. She is fine now at 3.5 years old. She had low muscle tone and could not have the strength. When she did I cried. I look at her today and feel I am blessed. Better late than never. He will walk.

  15. I'm confused… who told you that not walking at Lucas' age means he needs intervention? My daughter was full term and she is now 15 months and not walking. Cruising on walls and furniture but no desire to really walk. My dr seems to think it's fine and I have many mom friends who tell me about their late walkers- even up to 17 months. I wouldn't worry about it. He will do it on his own time. If your dr told you otherwise, I'd love to know what he/she said.

  16. Maybe you could get one of those little doll pushchair things and put a teddy or doll in it for him to push around – or a toddler size shopping trolley – gotta be more fun than the frame.

  17. I know your frustation, my son was a premiee who walked when he was 28 months! and talked when he 3 year old! today he is 9 and never stop talking. be patient it will came in his own time.

  18. my precious son was a late walker – but maybe it was is sheer mass that slowed him down – 9 lb at birth…that's a whole lotta baby to lug up. But actually – he didn't HAVE to get up – he had us to cater to his every need. So does Luke – he has that sweet baby Abigail to do his bidding.

    Now, as I've said before, my baby boy is 6'4 and perfect. Growing still – eating everything that isn't nailed down – good golly, how have the years flown by.

    Rest assured, Luke is great, grand and fine. I'm sorry you're worrying – but that is the mommy state of mind.

    Tonight – sweet boy came and asked why I can't stay home and play this spring break with them. The fact that he gives one damn that I'm not here warms my heart. He said:

    "But mom, it's not vacation if you're not here. The house isn't warm, cozy and light – can't you stay home?"

    By damn, I'm going to try and stay home.

    Love every minute – they'll be gone before you draw a deep breath.

  19. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents should not be concerned until after eighteen months if your child isn't walking. And I bet it's more among premature twins. I agree with the comments above, at his own pace he will walk.

    I also agree with Barbara E.'s comment (and this is just my opinion), but no child under the age of 5 should be in a wedding party.

  20. I had a typical babyhood and allegedly didn't walk until I was 17 months old. The reason? I had a slightly older brother who did EVERYTHING for me. Those were the days. :)

    I'm glad to hear that they're doing so wonderfully.

  21. I had always heard a (possible old wives' tale?) rumor that most children are either early walkers/late talkers or vice versa. It takes a lot of concentration to do either, so you only have time to do one at a time! The "milestone" is probably an average, since some children do it before, some do it after, rather than an expiration date. He seems to have quite a few words under his belt. Who says you have to walk and talk at the same time? I know I still have a hard time with that. Maybe he's verbose and verbal like his mama :-)

  22. Katrina, that wives' tale is true in my household. My daughter wwas a late walker, early talker. My son walked at 10 months and had to go to speech therapy because he wasn't speaking at age 2. It's always something. Both are fine now.

  23. I had one of those carts as a kid, even though I was an early/normal walker. It was one with an integrated girdle so you could kinda sit strapped, with the legs free to paddle away like a flintstone mobile. I used to race through the house, until I fell down a couple of stairs. So my little brother was only allowed to use it outside.
    The pictures of us in the cart-thing are hilarious though, beaming babies at high speed.

  24. What the moms of the precocious walkers seldom mention is that most of those kids go right back to crawling and stay there, because it's a lot more efficient.

    The window is generally up to 18 months. As I advised you before, insurance usually pays for the smallest number of therapy visits, treatments, etc. so whatever the doctors recommended, don't skip because the insurance has already skimped….

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