We all have weak areas in our parenting. Or is that just me?

One of mine and Chris’ weaknesses is regarding the passing on of the skill of walking.

We’re not exactly risk-takers. We avoid pain, discomfort, and inconvenience more vigorously than Lady Gaga avoids modesty and inconspicuousness.

And our children can sense this. And they translate it as fear.

When we talk, they hear things like,

“Come on – you can walk!! Try it! but don’t really because you’ll fall and bust your head and bleed all over yourself.”

And so, our punishment for our low-risk outlook, aside from making about 20 cents of interest in our bank accounts every year, is that we have seen both of our children’s first steps, but only on video.

Four years ago, I got nastily sick for a couple of days. Ali went to stay with my parents, and my Dad had a talk with her…because she was sixteen months old and refused to even stand without holding onto something, and he was determined to free her from her genetic predisposition to fear the unknown.

So. The talk.

“Ali, you’re a big girl. You need to be walking. Your best friend AJ walks, and you need to walk.”

She got an angry look on her face – after all, no one likes coming face to face with logic – and then walked across the room, completely unassisted.

By the time I was well enough to resume my responsibilities of motherhood, I had not only missed her first steps, but her first hundred or so steps – she was practically running when she came home.

(Granted, when you wait until you’re sixteen months old to walk, the whole ramp-up thing is nonexistent.)

Four years later, we have another cautious, OCD child. Fourteen months old, and Noah refuses to walk.

Just this week, he finally started showing off and standing unassisted, all with an overishly proud (and a little scared) look on his face. I always cheer loudly, and so he quickly learned to use this oh-so-impressive standing ability to get my approval.


He just had two teeth cut through, which are apparently making his gums quite uncomfortable. In an attempt to treat his own ailment, he crawled over to my chair, pulled up, and bit my leg like it was a fabulously juicy turkey thigh.

Shocked, I looked at him in dismay and lectured him on the evils of biting one’s mother.

He looked down in shame. Then looked up, with a bright lightbulb hovering above his head. He let go of the chair, standing without aid, and looked expectantly for my approval. Which I gave, and all was right in the world again – except for the teeth marks on my leg.

Anyway, so walking. His standing only lasted for a couple of seconds at a time, so steps were completely out of the question – he wouldn’t even consider such a thing.

Until he went to my parent’s to spend the night.

(I bet you can guess what happens here…)

My Mom had a talk with him.

“You just need to walk! Ali walks, and you need to walk!! You can do it!”

And…the kid started walking.

Clearly, my parents are child-training geniuses. So I’ve already put my request in for their next visit: Wipe-Your-Own-Butt Boot Camp.

17 thoughts on “The Missing Steps.

  1. I spewed coffee all over my phone when I got to the last line! Knowing your parents even made it better:). I think it is a grand idea! Matter of fact. you could line them up for quarterly boot camp training. Between you and Lindsay, they would stay busy. If they wanted to supplement their income, they could go into business—they have a great place for it. Kinda like Rent-a-Grandparent! LOL.

    1. They could definitely make loads of cash offering their services. But then they’d get sued when Dad took the kids out on the motorcycle, so it’s best that they don’t open themselves up to that liability.

  2. When your parents start your next suggested bootcamp, let me know. I need to send Jackson to that!

    Love the videos!!!

  3. Cute videos. Alex (My nephew) is a risk tasker much to him mom and aunt’s dismay so he skipped crawling and went straight to pulling up and then walking. I actually wish he was more like Noah and Ali.

    Your parents definitely could have a side job business with baby boot camps.

  4. My mom potty-trained James. Almost the same scenario. I had been working with him for a year (and I had trained three other ones, but James was very resistant). I got the flu, he went to my mom’s for three days and she trained him. She basically told him not to tee-tee in his pants anymore. And he didn’t. I was so happy it was hard to be exsparated with him.

  5. Your parents are the bomb! And, you and Chris are awesome parents too!! I hate that feeling that they are going to crash at any moment! I really do.

  6. Oh wow, your folks could totally do that for a living. ESPECIALLY if they conquer the butt-wiping… I’d love to see those business cards. Those videos are too funny – between Ali’s mad face and Noah’s tongue I think I know who your class clown is going to be :)

  7. Hahahaha…wipe-your-own-butt camp. That’s hilarious! I would love for someone to come and handle that part of child-rearing for me. I’m dreading potty training!

    I’m tagging you in a blog game in an effort to get to know some of the women who’s blogs I obsessively read. I hope you’ll have time to participate! The post will be live tomorrow.

  8. I have one word to describe your parents…AMAZING! That really is impressive!
    Please let me know how the wipe your own butt bootcamp goes, I might need to send my older 2 over for that…not looking forward to wiping 4 butts & somehow it seems to always happen at the same time ;)

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