e had his 15mos checkup yesterday, where he was diagnosed as being a little bit behind developmentally and a little bit of a mamas boy. specifically, he isn't walking or standing independently, and he only really has one spoken work that he uses in context: 'hi' (though he uses that word effusively and frequently). he does cruise on furniture and crawl at lightening speed, and he does point, grunt and gesture to communicate. but there is no escaping the fact that at 15mos, most kids are walking and have about 5-10 words.
the doc said it was a combination of e being who he is and him being a mamas boy. he thought that as a mamas boy. he advised me to carry him less, and to force him to ask for what he wants using words rather than rely on gestures and grunts. if he is still not walking at 18 mos or not really using speech we will get pt/speech therapy referrals.
even though it was what i expected to hear, it was still a hard checkup. no one likes to think that THEIR kid is going to be the kid on the other side of the slope--where things come later and with more difficulty vs the kid who picks things up quickly and easily. also, no one wants to think that they are inhibiting their kid and preventing them from reaching their full potential.
on the other hand, i am most likely going to ignore advice regarding not carrying him if he wants to be carried, or pretending i don't understand a gesture/grunt combo if i do. i feel like i know plenty of mamas boys/mamas girls and those kids walked and talked at younger ages than e. the motivation was intrinsic, not because teh parent forced it. i think that by pretending i don't understand him when i do it will just make both of us crazy. i don't really care if he walks at 16mos or 18 mos as long as he gets there. if he wants to be picked up i don't mind doing it; my feeling is that most kids at that age want to walk. i'm not sure that ignoring him when he wants to be carried will encourage walking so much as encourage crying.
but, i don't know. maybe i am preventing e from reaching his full potential. this is the very hard part about parenting: it's hard to know what you should have done until after the fact. maybe in a year i'll know that as i typed this he was 2 wks from walking so no big deal. or maybe i'll have a non walking/talking two year old and realize i should have done things completely different.
and then there's the question: does it matter later on? does the slow walker turn into the clumsy kid? the late talker into the dull child? or can you look at a group of 4yo children and not be able to tell the difference?