Today my little boy Donnie hits an important mark in his time line of growing up. He becomes 18 months old today.
For those of you reading who are also parents you understand why this is such an important time in a child's development. This is the time when doctors typically expect that all or most of the major developmental milestones to have been successfully achieved – such as walking unassisted and having already spoken their first words, etc. It can be an absolutely nerve wracking time for many parents who are watching their precious little one struggle to hit these milestones.
I was worried for the longest time about Donnie being able to get up and walk on his own without assistance. It was probably just the typical worry that most new moms and dads go through with their first born, but I was worried none the less. We tried to do whatever possible to encourage our son to walk rather than crawl everywhere. We'd cheer him on, offered little rewards and tried a few other things but nothing seemed to work. We didn't really have any concerns about any other areas of his development since everything else seemed to be progressing along exactly as it should. Walking is a big one though and I was conflicted in being excited to see it happen and at the same time also a little sad because my baby is getting older.
When I went home to New Brunswick to visit family earlier this summer Donnie finally started walking! Completely unassisted! He practiced in my grandmother's living room walking back and forth, back and forth until his little feet got tired. It was so incredible to see how happy it made him to be able to walk around like all the big people! He constantly laughed and giggled about his accomplishment.
It's been just under two months since our visit to NB and he's been running all over the place – so much that we can hardly keep up with him! Not only has he been walking, we've noticed a substantial growth in his comprehension. He's now able to say many many more words and is trying to put them into some basic sentences. What's also awesome is that Donnie is now able to follow some basic instructions like putting toys away when it's time for bed! That probably won't last too long though! haha
All children are different and develop on their own time line and just because one child is perceived as taking a little longer than others doesn't mean that they are actually behind. It's not fair to our kids to compare their milestones with others. Each child is unique and will get where they need to be when they're ready. It's easier said than done, but the excessive parental worrying has got to stop – it can drive a person mad. If a child unfortunately does have developmental issues that's a bridge that can be crossed once there.
Donnie is doing excellent in his development and I guess I was just too impatient and I let the new mom worries get to me. Other seasoned moms have mentioned to me before to just wait it out and everything will happen when the time is right. I should have listened and tried to relax a little more because they were right.