Coping With the Unexpected

Jack 18 monthsI anticipated that Jack would be a late walker. I don’t know what it was, but from the time he was a tiny newborn I was determined not to rush his gross motor development. He took what seemed like forever to roll over, but I was unfazed. I didn’t worry a bit when he waited until 8 months to sit unassisted. And as the months continued to pass, I breezily reassured relatives that “some babies never crawl, they just skip straight to walking.”

He eventually did start crawling and, later, pulling up and cruising, but at 18 months that’s still all he does.

Sometime around 15 months my confidence started to waver. I found myself avoiding the park and any other situation where strangers may see him crawling and inquire as to his age. The kid who looked almost two still getting around on hands and knees inspired a few curious looks and I just couldn’t deal. We’ve since had him assessed by Early Steps, learned that he has low muscle tone, and will start physical therapy this month, but you can read all about that here on my personal blog. What I want to say here is that if you’ve been through something similar you are so not alone.

We each look at our little newborn babies freshly arrived in this world and can’t imagine that they are anything short of perfect, but sometimes things don’t go according to plan. My squishy newborn had hip dysplasia and had to be strapped into an orthopedic device for six weeks to correct it and is now facing yet another challenge. Maybe your baby failed her hearing test. Or your two year old is barely talking. What if it’s something more serious? It does not mean that your baby is any less perfect. It just means that your baby might have some work to do, and don’t we all?

There are no negatives in life, only challenges to overcome that will make you stronger. (570x570)

The challenges I’ve faced in my life have made me stronger and I hope that Jack’s have the same impact on him. Even issues that seem so superficial, like a birthmark on your baby’s face, can be both devastating for parents and an opportunity to do some soul-searching about what really matters in life. Every obstacle, every challenge, every bit of unwelcome news is a chance for you and your child to learn something. So once you’ve dried your tears start looking for the lesson. And please, please know that you’re not alone.

What was one “unexpected” with your child? What did it teach you as a parent?

Charlotte is mom to two-year-old Jack and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She works part time, sells vintage wares on Etsy, and also maintains a personal blog, Living Well on the Cheap, where she writes about creating a full, rich life and a beautiful home without living beyond her means. Decorating, blogging, and thrifting were the creative outlets that helped her cope with the emotional demands of her career as a social worker, and they still serve her well now that she spends most of her time caring for her son. She and her husband, Nick, both grew up in the suburbs of New Orleans, but met at LSU in 2006 and never had the heart to leave Baton Rouge. She is happy to call the Red Stick home and loves connecting with other moms.


  1. This totally hits home for me. I have my own Jack who I find I a very similar situation. He has zero desire to pull up and walk and if we make him try and practice his legs give out and kind of fold in together like there is something else going on. I asked the pedi prior to him being one but now that we are passed 15 months I think it is time to revisit. Thanks so much for sharing.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here