They learn to nurse when they're ready. They lift their heads when they're ready. Roll over when they're ready. Sit when they're ready. Crawl when they're ready.
Carter might not be talking, but he's been adamantly clear with me that he'll start walking when he's good and ready. My secret goal was for him to be walking (heck, I would have even taken partially toddling) by the time his first birthday was here. I've called it a secret goal becauseI know better than to pressure him into doing something before he's ready. I had all kinds of impressive little visions of him bobbling around the feet of guests at his first birthday party. His birthday has come and gone; patience is my virtue.
Still, I've encouraged and directed him by trying to show him his capabilities; I stand him up and reach out to him with Oreos, chunks of cheese or random Yo Gabba Gabba figurines balanced on top of my head (If it's any lower than that, he'll plop down and crawl to it). Sometimes he'll make a three step attempt for the Oreo, but ninety percent of the time, he acts annoyed and sits right back down. I feel lucky if I even get him standing. I know he's capable. And I know he's stubborn. I guess I just don't get his reasoning. Maybe he doesn't think he can do it? Or is he lazy? Does he have enough opportunities to practice? Playing with toys does seem like much more important business than trying to get something off the top of your mother's head.
Carter and I were in the Target checkout line yesterday, and after falling victim to his flirtation tactics, the cashier asked how old he was. When I told her he turned one last week, she assumed, I bet he's all over the place.
Well crawling, I told her, not walking.
Shooting him a pity-filled look, she turned to me, Ohhh ... he's one of thooooose.
I looked at her blankly. Then she explained to me that one of her daughters refused to walk until she was 19 months old. I let out an accidental gasp.
Carter and I went home, and I unpacked groceries while he ate green beans and smeared cheese sauce in his hair.
He got down from his highchair, and, that night, I peeled back the top of a new pack of Oreos and carefully stacked three of them on top of my head.