Walk? Well, Why Don't You Take a Walk Off a Pier

Archer isn't walking yet and after the whole, waiting until 13 months to crawl, I could seriously care less.

As far as I'm concerned he's taking his sweet time and having fun banging his knees on the concrete and cruising on all fours. Right? Let him crawl until he feels like walking. Life is long. There will be plenty of time for running amok on two feet.

Unfortunately as of late, it seems that I am the only person who thinks so. Everywhere we go people feel the need to play "mommy" and parent my child. Everywhere we crawl people decide we shouldn't be crawling. We should be "walking." We also should be reading paperbacks and speaking latin and doing whatever it is their child is doing so well. Croquet for instance. Interpretive dance?

"15 months and still no walking?"


"Wow. My kid walked at 8-months (infant walks by, waves, pulls Tolstoy for Youngsters out of back pocket of Osh Gosh B'goshes.)

"That's great for your child. I'm really happy for him."

"Here, lemme try..."

And no joke, random strangers literally pick Archer up off his knees and try to teach him to walk. Classy.

"What the hell are you doing?"

"You need to teach him like this (shows me what I "should be" doing.) Come on Archer! One foot in front of the other. YOU CAN DO IT!"

"Actually. I don't want to teach him. I would prefer if he didn't walk. Easier for me. I hope he crawls until he's twenty-five."

"Is that a joke? Ha. Wait, you're not serious."

Since when is it okay to teach random children how to walk because lately (at the Aquarium, in the store, at the park, in my neighborhood) randoms haunt Archer in ghost-like clusters and pounce upon him, lifting him to his feet, holding his fingers and calling him like a dog?

Does anyone know of a public place where a baby can crawl in peace? I'm serious. When will people keep their hands to themselves? WHY DO YOU CARE IF MY KID ISN'T WALKING?

What? You have a problem with hands and knees? I'll walk you in the face, dudes. No joke.



mo-wo | 12:12 AM

Random acts of parental appropriation.. I say break out the pepper spray.

Unknown | 4:37 AM

Normally I would agree and be there at your back with my cape and book of witty comebacks, but....
it is partially your fault for having such an adorable kid. People must touch beautiful children.

OhTheJoys | 6:09 AM

I don't think it is o.k. for strangers to try to a.) touch Archer or b.) tell you what to do.
For the record, you are LUCKY. SO LUCKY. I wasn't in a hurry for mine to walk either. I'd rather they waited until they had some SENSE -even a little - so I didn't have to chase them around every minute so they didn't fall down a flight of stairs or whatever.

Andrea | 6:46 AM

Seriously? People will pick up your child? That's grounds for an ass whoopin there. Or a severe tongue lashing. I would lose it if someone I didn't know did that to my son/me.

Archer will learn to walk when he's ready. And bravo to you for understanding that and not forcing him into it.

Maybe you could tell them all something like, "He's not walking because he's more interested in inventing cold fusion. He's really smart and mundane things like walking just aren't important enough."

Anonymous | 7:09 AM

Are you kidding me? God. People are idiots.

k.thedoula | 7:23 AM

Tale of my three monsters.
#1 waking at 10 months, running shortly thereafter (yeah, I need sympathy on that one!)
#2 crawling at ten months, walking at 14m 17 days (I looked it up)... annoying people were told his bones are too soft to take up walking, please don't mess with his development *will make them back away nicely, feel free to use it*
#3 is 10 months today. She just started sitting two weeks ago, she is dragging herself over the hardwood floors in a crawl like army manoeuver type thingy.
Only with my daughter (#3) did I worry, but that is another story. I have accepted the fact that she is just way too long for her own good, and really, she still tips over because of it!
Use the bone thing, it is usually the case. These little creatures know what to do! and WHEN to do it.
That said, not sure if I could keep my hands off such a cute little guy like Archer either... ahem. =)

Chris | 7:25 AM

Zed was seventeen months before he walked. Now if he would just say SOMETHING!

Every kid's got his/her own schedule. Don't let the mean mommies get you down!

MrsFortune | 8:58 AM

Dude. WALK those MFers right on out of there. I cannot BELIEVE that people would do that! Seriously.

Kristen | 9:12 AM

You are freaking kidding me. WHO THE HELL DO THEY THINK THEY ARE?

Like Chag said, some kids walk earlier / later than others. Same with talking, eating solids, giving up the bottle, sleeping through the night, etc. There is no "normal" - I just believe that now. Every kid hits milestones in a RANGE - and Archer is going to walk when he's ready. (Mine didn't walk until 15-16 months either, and even then, it was clumsy toddling - he wasn't walking well until well after 18 months.)

Fraulein | 9:28 AM

Oh my God, people can be assholes. He's fine! One day soon he's going to break into a run and there'll be no stopping him, and then you'll look back fondly on this stage. And anyway, it seems that boys always walk later than girls. (I don't know anyone with a boy who walked before 13 months.) He's right on schedule.

Denice | 11:03 AM

At 18 weeks along I have only recently become visibly pregnant, and helpful strangers are already stopping me and giving me advice. Just yesterday I was thinking that if they do this now, how freaking bad is it going to be when the kid is actually born? Well, I guess your post is my answer…

Amy | 11:13 AM

People love to be an expert on other people's children. Enjoy the not-walking stage....it will end soon enough.

*Tanyetta* | 11:29 AM

Ditto what Mo-Wo said.

nonlineargirl | 11:57 AM

If someone said to me "my child crawled at 8 months" I would have said "oh, that must have been terrible!" Can you imagine - a walker at that age is a horrible thought. My daughter is a bit of a later walker, and I knew she'd start when she wanted to. Her favorite friend didn't start walking until past 18 months and now is a speed demon. Other people's concerns aside, a later walker can be a blessing.

Mom101 | 12:39 PM

Oh puhLEASE. Who are these people? In what world is it okay to do this to a mother? I think the only right answer is, "I don't think you meant it this way but your behavior is very offensive. Are you implying that he doesn't walk because of something I am doing wrong?" Just cfall them on their shit.

Meanwhile, neither is Thalia. No interest in even letting go with one hand when she walks. So they're meant for each other.

Anonymous | 12:50 PM

GGC, I love ya, but I'm currently stabbing my eye out because you said "interpretive dance." There is no such thing as interpretive dance. You are causing modern dancers all over the blogospher great disconfort. I know you jest, but this is my "thing." I freak out over this.
Sorry about those dorks at the pier. That's so annoying. Archer's non-walkingness is one of his coolest attributes. He's his own man.

Binky | 1:35 PM

Where I live, places where one can crawl in peace abound. Basically, nobody gives a flying eff about anybody else, so consumed are they with themselves. That is, incidentally, the way I like it. And anyone who might be predisposed to showing some sort of interest in my life or that of my spawn is usually warded off by my dagger stare. I think you need a stare.

ms blue | 1:50 PM

Those busybody, judgmental fools should be put in their place.

My 13 month old baby can't crawl. I want strangers to get on their hands and knees in public and show her how to do it!

Anonymous | 2:43 PM

Hiya, I just want to say your son is ADORABLE no matter what he's doing (well, based on the photos you post, of course, heh)--that face! I just discovered your blog and I love it!

I'm still working on my baby (just passed month 5) and I'm already getting all sorts of unsolicited advice and sentences that start with "you should...". Lovely. I'm guessing that it's a sort of rite of passage into motherhood. Not the pain of labor, but the pain of tolerance.


Jenna | 3:55 PM

He is such a cutie!

Isn't it just slap-your-knee hilarious when strangers think they know what is best for your child?

My first child cried everywhere I took her that I had had it with strangers trying to tell me that my baby was hungry. As soon as I saw someone open their mouth, mine started first with "She's not hungry, wet or tired. She wants to cry. Thanks for your concern. G'day."

And, honey, enjoy those days of no walkin'. Once they walk, they then learn to run and it is much harder to keep up with them.


Dudes! Thank you for your words. It's good to know I have back-up and now I won't feel bad when I have to wreck some shit.

And yes to pregnant moms as well... GOSH! When I started showing strangers started touching. So not cool.

Bleh. I'm also surprised that this hasn't happened to anyone else. I thought since this has happened to us several times now that I wouldn't be alone but shit. No one tries to teach your kids how to walk? Maybe it's because of the sign on my back that says "please help teach my kid to walk."

Emily- Ack! So sorry to offend. Am removing foot from mouth now.

Anonymous | 4:50 PM

Chill out child. If it is not walking it will be talking and if not talking then reading. It never ends.

My son, when he was that age had white blond curls all over his head. Everyone thought that because he was a baby they could touch his hair whenever they wanted. Total strangers. It got to the point that he would cringe when someone reached for his head. I had to tell them not to touch. And, btw, he didn't walk until he was two. Climbed onto the piano when he was nine months, but walking...no way. Not until he was good and ready. What a blessing.

Unknown | 6:04 PM

Same thing with my daughter - she didn't walk til 15 months. Actually, she came home walking after her first day of daycare at 15 mo. I sympathize - been there! Lydia was a bit slower with a bunch of things - its just who she is - no one is going to push her to do anything.

I get this all the time with her daycare - they will confront me with something as though my daughter is THE ONLY child on the face of the earth doing this - not potty training to speed, having a tantrum, being a picky eater. I always look at them and am like, 'wow, thanks for telling me! She is such individual!'

As my friends encourage would encourage me - I am sure your child is a free-spirit with lots of personality. Celebrate the individuality.

Chicky Chicky Baby | 7:02 PM

Fuck 'em. I'm with Mo-Wo too. Start carrying pepper spray or, as I like to refer to it, "Dumbass Be-Gone".

Heather | 8:52 PM

There is such a wide-range of "normal" for children's development. Adult development as well...do we all learn to do new things at the same pace?? I think not.

I was actually sad when my son (child #2) rolled over the first time. I met my Mommy friends and said "it was a sad day at our house" because I just didn't want him to start moving yet! Now he's 2, and keeps moving, and growing.

They do everything at their own pace. But you already knew that.

Those are some rude people. I get annoyed if creepy strangers ask my kids questions...if they touched I might have to whip out my machete and cut me off an arm or two.

kittenpie | 9:01 PM

Ugh, those are the same ones who were belly-patters back when you were pregnant. No sense of space.

Jaelithe | 9:02 PM

Dude, my kid did not walk until 15 months, and now he runs all over the place and drives me crazy.

Maybe you should just tell people he's a year old when they ask how old he is. It's not technically lying; he's a year and a couple of months . . . I may or may not have done this a few times when sick of the annoying "walking yet?" question. It's not like strangers need to know my kid's exact birthday anyway.

Awesome Mom | 9:20 PM

I think I would smack someone that tried that with one of my kids. Early walking is so overrated. Due to his stroke my toddler did not walk until he was almost 2 so when he finally did walk he was more mature and it was easier to control him. My baby is alreadt threatening me with early walking and I am terrified. He is crazy into everything and I know that he is going to constantly try to kill himself. I wish my baby was more like Archer, it would save me a lot of gray hairs.

Anonymous | 4:48 AM

Now, me, I'd go for the big-time guilt defense. If a random stranger picked him up and tried to "help" him walk, I'd gasp in horror and shriek, "Oh nooooooo! The doctor said if he put any weight AT ALL on his feet for two weeks after the surgery, HE WOULD NEVER WALK AGAIN!!!!! Oh dear God what have you done????"

Honestly, people are such idiots. But YOU are not. I'm glad you're letting your little guy take his sweet time.

Anonymous | 5:59 AM

My daughter did not walk until she was three...she was a "bum shuffler" and scooted on her booty, sitting up. She even went to physical therapy for a year (18 months to 30 months...) until they kicked her out for not having anything wrong with her. This comment (from well meaning strangers and idiot friends, too) is my favorite: "Have you tried putting her toys up high?" No, we put them all over the floor, along with her food so that we can go to the state's intervention program and be told what bad parents we are...it's a load of laughs. By the way, she is now almost six, and fine. My son, who just turned three is funny--he is physically outstanding and agile, but not verbal. My husband is freaking out, and thinks we should go through the rigamarole of testing...our Montessori teacher has it right--he talks when he wants something, and therefore he will get there when he gets there. Bless her correct attitude. Yours is, too!!! Crawl on, Archer!

Her Bad Mother | 6:39 AM

The whole child-as-public-property thing is stupid. As is the whole everyone's-an-expert-on-all-children thing.

If everybody is so concerned about others and so well-versed in the secrets of raising brilliant and physically superior children, why are there so many lazy selfish assholes around?

Namito | 10:23 AM

Fuck 'em.

Archer will walk when he's ready.

Offer to teach them how to crawl, then give them a need to.

Not that I'm vengeful or anything.

Christina | 10:28 AM

That drove me crazy, too. I guarantee he won't be going to kindergarten on all fours. He'll walk when he feels like it, and right now? Crawling is pretty cool.

beth | 10:37 AM

Oh my God, they need to get their hands off your child. Sam didn't walk until 2 days before he was 15 months, and no coaxing could have brought it out of him. Now people give me hell about the fact that he's not talking yet. There will always be something.

Anonymous | 7:58 PM

Oh, for fuck's SAKE! We don't TEACH OUR KIDS TO WALK. It's INNATE!!!! If everyone had to be TAUGHT, there'd be a lot more adults out there not walking.

He'll walk when's fucking ready. Not because he was TAUGHT.

Nimrod nosy-bodies. Who don't know dookie about development.

daionara | 9:33 PM

On behalf of people who may comment to you about your child not walking, let me just say I'm sorry for our ignorance. I too, if I met you and your crawling son somewhere, might comment about his not walking yet. Simply ignorance on my part, having a runner at 9 months. It would seem that 12 months is the rough average age for walking and we forget that in order to get an average, some must be on the early side and others on the late side.

Your son is GORGEOUS. I think you should be able to smack anyone who touches your child without permission.

Suburban Turmoil | 7:45 AM

One of my good friend's babies didn't walk until 18 months and she nearly had a fit. We kept telling her that once she was walking, she'd wonder why she was so worried- and it's true. Now she can't believe she was so freaked out.

They walk when they're ready... My two-year-old's not jumping like the other kids. Drives me crazy, but she's just not interested. She'll do it when she feels like it, just like everything else.

BurmaTeakDesk | 2:41 PM

My daughter is 20 months and a bum shuffler- doc says everything seems ok in the ankle region... she crawls in a weird way just for fun but shuffles sitting on bum when she wants to get somewhere. Stands when nec feet inverted. took her to kinesitherapist- physio for children who told me my child was nervous cos she knew she didnt walk.. needed mommy - christ so would you if you had to take off your pants, stockings and shoes in a strange place with strange womn with hangdog serious face talking for 40 min and no smile or friendly biscuits either... i told the physio that i had been a bum sh meself and that her other motor skills were fine- eating throwing balls talking also recognising visuals etc .. dos anyone ahve a bum shuffler_ i want to wait and see - she need not have individual classes alone with this woman - which the physio says is nec- if she tells me that there is nothing wrong with the muscles tho she needs help - in her opinoin- need a bum shuffler mum s or aunt etc to give me another bum testimonial before i lose perspective...

Anonymous | 3:30 PM

My daughter is 20 months, is a bum shuffler and still can't walk. Its safer and faster for her to bum shuffle so she just can't be bothered to walk. She stands up and walks round the table in our lounge but she just won't let go, she's too worried about falling! I've heard loads of stories about bum shufflers not walking till they're 2 years old. I think the more you push them the less they want to do it, they'll do it when they're good and ready!