Yesterday, I decided to go down to our local dollar shop and see if I could find some cups. I know – it doesn’t sound like much but sometimes when I’m feeling a bit unmotivated to do housework something as simple as buying a cool cup for $2 motivates me. I’m boring I know!
I found some nice little cups to add to our kitchen and went to pay for them. As I was putting my daughter into her pram the lady at the cash register makes a comment “Your daughter is well behaved! She sits in her pram. My daughter runs everywhere”. To which I told her “Oh my daughter isn’t quite walking yet so that’s why she isn’t running everywhere. Won’t be long though!” I tell her happily.
The lady frowns. She seem a bit confused. “How old is she?” 14 months. At this stage the lady is shocked with a look of strong concern on her face, she almost looked disgusted. I was a bit confused why she seemed so concerned. Then she told me “but she is 1 already. She should be walking. My daughter just turned 1 and she’s walking. My daughter goes everywhere, she’s really good at walking. Your baby should be walking too”.
I told the lady that if I had the option to be pushed around in a pram or carried vs. walking, I’d be smart too and get in the pram or be carried.
But really? Was it really that necessary to tell me that my daughter should be walking at her age? And says who?
Yes. I understand that some babies are walking at 9 months – that’s actually cute and cool. That’s great. And there are babies that don’t walk until 18months or even after 2.
Babies (just like us adults) learn things in their own time.
Learning to crawl and walk is a BIG thing. The co-ordination. Everything about it. It’s literally a big thing to learn in life. And it can get overwhelming. Just like learning to drive manual and go on busy roads was to me (and maybe you too).
I actually wasn’t worried about my daughter learning to walk. I’m still not worried. But this made me wonder something…why do people have such expectations of babies and children? Why do our children NEED to reach certain milestones by a certain time before questions start getting asked? Why do our children NEED to be dressed in blue or pink or have their hair tied up or ears pierced or have a boys hair cut to be seen as a boy or a girl? Why do our children NEED to play with dolls if they are girls and cars if they are boys? Why is that when our babies are first born people just expect them to just magically sleep through the night?
The answer to all of the above is: they don’t. They don’t need to live up to those expectations. Babies, toddlers and children are free beings. We all are.
But why do these expectations exist?
In my opinion, I think people start expecting so much from themselves throughout life that it becomes normal to expect certain things by a certain time from every one and then when you have kids you expect things from them too. I know not everyone lives like that. I don’t but that’s what my wonders have concluded with tonight.
Oh! And on a proud little side note – my daughter started walking this evening *snorts out loud*