Perfectionist

Nellie will be 14 months old on Sunday and she isn’t walking yet. As a mom, it’s hard not to worry especially when there are babies 2-4 months younger than she is that are not just walking, but running. I’ve been told not to worry about the fact that she’s not walking until closer to 16 months old but still… It’s hard not to be concerned sometimes.

As Nellie grows, her personality and her quirks emerge a little more each day. Nellie is, by nature, a very cautious and deliberate child. She doesn’t do something until she is absolutely ready and has it absolutely right. She army-crawled until 10 months. I would catch her on her hands and knees rocking occasionally but as soon as she knew someone was watching, she’d flop back down on her belly and crawl that way. When it came to pulling up, she would do it very hesitantly and if there was any shakiness or unbalance in her legs, she would immediately lower herself back down to the ground where it was safe. From talking to other mothers, I’ve found that when most toddlers decide they want to get back down to the ground after standing up, they just sort of toss themselves on the ground or allow themselves to fall onto their butts. But not Nellie! Oh, no. If she is standing and holding onto the couch and decides she needs to crawl somewhere? She will crouch down while still holding onto the couch until her butt is almost touching the ground and then she will let go.

She is the same way with her words. She first started babbling, “dada” on her six month birthday. But she didn’t just come right out and say it. She whispered it. We’d hear her whispering in her tiny little voice, “dadadadada” over the baby monitor and when we’d go into her room and encourage her to say it, she would just look at us and smile.

So it would seem that our little girl is a perfectionist. It’s the most amazing thing to see this aspect of her personality. I’m reminded of stories I’ve been told about when I was in pre-kindergarten and we were learning how to cut with scissors. I refused to cut in the class and my teachers were concerned about my motor skills. My mom found me in my room one day hunkered over a piece of paper with a pair of child’s scissors in my hand, cutting and cutting until I had it perfect. It was only then that I would cut in front of my peers and teachers; once I had mastered the art of manipulating a pair of scissors. I see this same trait in my Nellie and it’s really kind of amazing.

Nellie is very careful and does everything with purpose, but she is also very silly. She’s actually sillier than I could have ever imagined…. But that’s a subject for another post.

So taking into consideration Nellie’s cautious nature I guess it’s no surprise that she isn’t walking yet. She will when she’s ready, and when she knows for sure that she’s got it down. And when she does… The fun will really begin.