Slugs, Snails And Puppy Dog Tales: Why Won't They Walk The Walk?

26/07/2010 12:05 | Updated 22 May 2015

The first of a new weekly Parentdish column:

You would think that after bringing up two boys already, I would be used to this painful stage when babies teeter on the brink between crawling and walking. While, Max, my four-year-old, walked at a relatively normal 14 months, Jacob, 6, didn't manage to get up on his pins until he was 18 months.

The twins, Jonah and Zach, are 17 months and show little inclination to give up their all-fours means of transport. I can see their little minds thinking, I can whizz around at top speed on my hands and knees and if I spot some booty I can't reach then I can simply sit on my nappied bottom, hold my hands in the air and screech until some willing grown up hoists me up.

From their point of view there is little benefit to be had from swapping four limbs for two, in fact it might see them turfed out from their cosy buggy and forced to actually perambulate for themselves, which just wouldn't do.

From my point of view I am at the verge of screaming with frustration every time Jonah, who is the more advanced of the two when it comes to movement, stands, one foot poised to take step, and then flump, down he goes onto his bottom and into a crawl.

He has been cruising with ease around the furniture since he was one, and I was sure he would be walking months ago, but for some reason he seems to have developed a religious objection to the whole process. If I hold his hands to help him, he screams as if being tortured until I let him go and he can slump back to the floor with a sigh of relief.

Zach on the other hand is much braver, and will walk along holding your hands giggling away as if was the best game in the world. The trouble is he is far too clumsy to pull together all the required actions on his own. He can heft himself up to a wobbly stand, but if he attempts put one foot in front of the other he comes tumbling down in a gangly heap.

Other mums try to comfort me, telling me they will walk in their own sweet time. I grit my teeth to stop myself from hissing, 'Yes, I know, but I want them to do it NOW'. The problem is that if they don't start walking soon I am afraid my old back will finally give up the ghost entirely and then we will all be crawling around on the floor wailing.

Was your baby slow to walk?

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