Second Cousins

  • christy

    Some more advice concerning maternal milestones: JUST LIE! No one is really asking to know anyhow, they are just making conversation. It makes it a lot easier on everyone involved.

    The people who need to know what your baby is doing already know, and you will continue to keep them in the loop as needed.

    Beyond that, fuck ‘em. That’s my personal parenting mantra.

  • Carol

    I like that you titled your last entry “maternal” milestones. You obviously understand that they are YOUR milestones to reach. Both of my kids (will leave boring details out for once) have developed late in some areas, but they always get there. The worry and emotional drain was mostly caused by me for me.
    Usually, there’s no need to worry or feel bad. It will almost always work itself out. No matter what you do.

  • LisaG

    Leta has the most beautiful ballerina hands.

    Being a mother is hard and exhiliarating always – just like you describe, Heather. That part won’t change – just the issues. The hardest part for me is detaching from their teenage emotions – they are over it in five minutes and I am left hiding under the covers drooling onto my pillow. And when someone says something that could maybe possibly be interpreted as criticism of your child or your parenting skills…look out – here comes Mama Bear. I’ve been a mother for 17 years and it still freaks me out when that happens. Anyway, chin up, you are in good company with the craziness!

  • Susie

    Yea, I want to join Heather and I’m sure many others in telling you things you already know, but our hearts hurt for you at the thought of how you felt at that party, so we can’t shut up:
    1. That man didn’t know that most babies aren’t walking at 10 months.
    2. He didn’t know that MANY babies aren’t crawling at 10 months, indeed many never crawl at all and grow up to be perfectly wonderful humans.
    3. He didn’t know Leta and he didn’t know you, so his mistaken ideas of developmental milestones were the only “in” that he had to a conversation with the beautiful neighbor with the adorable baby.
    4. ALL moms do have this happen sooner or later about some issue or other. I know that doesn’t change that horrible feeling it creates; I can’t even think of one single word that adquately describes that sad/angry/guilty feeling.
    5. I choose to believe that most people who are hurtful in this way, out of absolute ignorance, really don’t intend to offend. Ignorance is just like that.

  • JP

    And you thought the MORMON GUILT was bad???? The guilt of MOTHERHOOD. The BITCH of all guilts.

    There is always SOMETHING that you feel bad about. When you’re moving all week and your girls get sick because of lack of sleep/schedule??? When you’re a working mom and all the prissy at home mom’s look down on you and talk about you because you’re not like them? Bitches…

    Anyway…my point being is that someone is always going to make you feel like a ‘bad mom’…especially your children when they’re old enough. You know that you’re doing right. Leta is FABULOUS…you and Jon are great parents. Miss Lovely Leta will crawl/walk as soon as she’s ready…

  • Stephen McKenna

    Since when were Armstrongs statistically average? Leta will be just fine.

  • Bucky Four-Eyes

    If we refer to ourselves as “regular” readers here, isn’t that just taunting poor Heather?

    Just wondering. . .

  • Matt in London

    Hmmmm – my wife and I had a baby on Tues and sod the crawling, he’s ruined our house without being able to move yet… :-)

    Am I last??

  • Amanda B.


    Leta is a little angel. I don’t have any children and know you don’t like all the advice even if I did. So I will say I am sorry you are having a tough time.

    My little brother scooted around on his heiney like a deranged hermit crab instead of crawling.

    He went from that to running (not walking) into doors, walls and furniture. He looked like an abused child until he was about 4.

    He had to wear braces at night to straighten out his little legs and he HATED it. But all is well now.

    All will be well. :)

  • Ali

    I am joining the chorus here. My son NEVER crawled. He refused point blank to stand on his legs and jig about. The most he ever managed was a slug like kind of roll from time to time. Otherwise he was content to stay put, observing and getting people to run around after him. Eventually he started dragging himself around the furniture when he was almost fourteen months old. So what? He walked. He is really smart and very cute and NORMAL.

    In contrast his brother got up and ran at nine months, is severely autistic, didn’t speak until he was sixteen and will never lead an independent life.

    Let’s hear it for slow walking, I say. I threw away my milestones book and felt happy with slug baby number two.

    Please don’t do what I did with number one. I wasted his childhood standing around in hospital corridors waiting for people to be negative. That doesn’t help anyone.

    Leta is lovely. She will be fine.

    Much love


  • AyEnDeeAreEeAyAitch

    George needs to go make babies now.

    Leta is damn close to perfect as are you Heather.

  • allison

    Great pic of GEORGE! and Leta. I have one, or actually, two questions though, is Leta a blonde or a redhead? And does GEORGE! know how popular he’s become?

  • U.B.

    Good post Susie.

    Many people struggle in a social setting, but I doubt there is any malice involved.

    My older kid had health problems as an infant. It definitely changed her development schedule, but she’s a wild thing now.

  • superMANA

    I don’t comment often but I feel I had to due to your latest post. My daughter didn’t do a lot of things when she was supposed to as far as milestones go. Yet she’s now 4 years old and totally healthy. I fretted about a lot of things when she was a baby – everything from her eating habits to thumbsucking to why she didn’t craw at such-and-such age, and it really took away from the joy of being a first time mom. So the 2nd time around I decided to just not care about these milestones and enjoy every moment of my son’s infancy. It goes by so quickly. But I know how you feel. I totally do!

  • Jessica

    Have never posted before, but read every day. I want to eat Leta too, she is so damn cute. I love the photo of Leta & George.
    Anyone who assumes, from the get-go, that a TEN MONTH OLD must be walking is dumb, plain and simple. Leta is gorgeous and really, smarter than the rest of us for realizing that mobility isn’t necessarily all its cracked up to be. That feeling of “run and hide my baby from the world because only I know just how perfect she is” … yes, imagining that anyone could find your girl anything less than divine shreds your heart. But if you care what a complete stranger says, Leta is beautiful and sounds like a fiesty and charming little girl, and she is lucky to have such an incredible, dynamic mother (and father too, yes).
    Jessica (Seattle)

  • the niffer

    Nice photo. Love the light.

    Last night I saw a commercial for the D70 and I turned to my husband and said, “that’s Dooce’s camera.” He affectionately called me a geek. He loves that I read Dooce’s and Fish’s and Karen’s blogs, but he’d prefer if you’d all stop talking about babies. :)

    Sheryl – I will have to show your comment to my husband. I cannot do the nasty until I’ve had my morning NASTY. Are there any other ladies out there who can back me up?

  • Slim

    The best part is you KNOW that Leta is fine so even with a few moments of doubts brought on by an ignoramous (my word) you also know that you are rearing a wonderful babygirl who will do what she want when she bloody well please. If I am repeating advice my bad I didn’t read all the comments today.

  • Tracy

    The look on Leta’s face is priceless: “Aw, yeah, I know I’m a cutie. HA!”

  • Janice

    My son did not crawl until he was 11 months old. His legs were fine, he just DID NOT WANT TO. He is very opinionated, and if I want him to do something, he figures it out quickly to just do the opposite. He crawled for his grandparents just because I wanted him to crawl for ME not for THEM. :)

  • Joe

    I think there needs to be some kind of law against George and Leta appearing in the same picture. Their cuteness could destroy the known universe.

  • marie

    As ususal, Dooce, you have expressed succinctly what many, many mothers feel and go through. I recall feeling the very same way when my now 9 year-old was 10 months and “wasn’t even crawling.” She “wasn’t even walking” until around 14-15 months. Somehow we both survived, and those days seem a distant memory to me!
    Also, to Dooce and readers alike, have you seen the new retractable Sharpies commercial? There’s a baby who REFUSES to let his mom put his feet on the ground; every time she tries, he screeches. So she uses her one-handed, retractable Sharpie and carries him around. Anyway, I thought how surreal it was that I saw that commercial and thought about a baby/mother that I don’t even KNOW in person–only through the internet(s). Just wondering if anyone else had seen it and thought the same thing!

  • katie

    All kids develop differently. My 5 yr old son crawled at 13 months and walked at 18 months. So did 2 of my friends kids. Ignore ignorant people!

  • Lisa

    First of all, most ten months old aren’t walking yet, let alone “running all over the house”. some of them are barely crawling.Some people need to realize that every baby is different and these little things won’t matter ten years from now. Dooce don’t even worry about it, my sister had the same problem Leta does, and didn’t start walking until 18 months. I’m sure Leta will be walking/crawling sooner or later!

  • becca

    After all the stupid comments I endured about when E was going to start crawling/walking, I made a vow never to ask another parent about their child’s development. Babies move when they’re ready. Really. One day Leta will just pull up and start cruising, and you’ll realize some internal clock went off and told her it was time. I never got why so many other people care when someone else’s children move… unless you are training Leta to serve finger foods at a party, her mobility doesn’t affect them at all.

  • Nobody

    Our son might be reading before kindergarten. Our daughter is taking her time learning to talk. Different kids develop at different rates; they all take lots of love and lots of patience. Leta is fine. Relax.

  • Rebekah

    Dooce- I know this will make you feel better. My daughter did not crawl until she was 13 1/2 months. She was almost 18 MONTHS when she took her first step. The crawl was not normal either. It was more of a dragging of her legs with the strength from her arms. I went through the same thing thinking that I must have done something wrong and broke her. Now I can’t keep up with her at almost 5 yrs old.

    Chin up girlfriend it will happen sooner or later.

    I promise.

  • Shelagh McIntyre

    Hey – My son just turned 10 months and he’s not crawling yet either. Bum scootching, sure, and he can sit up by himself, but not crawling. Nothing wrong with that! :) Lets enjoy these less-mobile times! They’ll disappear before we know it!

  • Carol

    Dooce – To make you feel better about “sensory problems” with Leta… I contracted polio from the vaccine when I was 6 months old. My mom freaked out!! This was 1968 and that just didn’t happen. Anyway, I definitely have weakness in my arm, but most of my friends have no idea. And I was an athlete all through school. Gymastics, even. It’s amazing what you can overcome. Hope this makes you feel better. : )

  • Sue From Ohio

    Forgive me for not reading every single frickin post so if I repeat, well, forgive me…

    It seems to me that since you can’t poop, it’s probably not such a bad thing since Chuckles has decided to eat the paper. Nothing worse than pinchin a loaf only to find there isn’t anything to wipe off the press…um, get my drift?

  • kath

    You know, that whole kibitz-on-your-parenting thing is weird. Somehow, when you have kids, you’re always wearing a t-shirt that says, “Advise me, I’m Clueless.” I have a kid who sucks her thumb; everyone had license to comment in the grocery store line. If Leta isn’t walking, then you get to listen to stories of how THEIR kids walked right out of the womb. Well-meaning, I tell myself. Well-meaning. But it doesn’t quell my urge to run screaming, or to return later, with a gun.

  • me

    Walking at 10 mos?? None of my kids did. My son walked at 13 mos. and my twin daughters, who barely crawled (it was lovely), walked at 14 mos.

    Ahh yes. Motherhood…

  • Colleen from NJ

    Alive/Verge of Collapse is the best name for this parent rollercoaster.

    I’m with the niffer: evacuating the premises before the next door invasion is the best way to go.

    Your Nikon D70 captured how much Leta’s got George wrapped around her sweet, tasty little pinky.

  • Lori

    To people who make presumptions about where your children are developmentally: PBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBLT!!

  • Becka

    If it’s not one thing that people comment on, it’s another. When you have a baby, everyone feels the right to question, and everyone is convinced they’re right.

    Leta is normal. Leta is herself. Leta is going to take over the world with her cuteness and pinky cheeks.

  • trisha

    My four-year-old isn’t talking yet. I know how shitty it feels to be asked the questions.

    And given the looks. I hate the looks more than the questions, even.


    Yes I’m single, and midwifegoddessannie about the eyes, I’ve put them to use many times before. Works especially good at Mormon dances.

  • Mari

    GEORGE! and Leta! in Pink! in front of your beautiful arts and crafts fireplace with built-in bookcases! It’s too much!

  • shy

    is this your taken in your home, if so, i love your fireplace and built-in shelving unit!

    oh, and… GEORGE!

  • manda

    Do you watch “Significant Others”? It’s a great show on Bravo and one of the wives had a poop issue that her husband interupted. Made me think of you.

  • nancy

    awww I want one…no…not george

  • Sarah

    I love your post on maternal milestones….motherhood is an unbelievable ride, Heather. And you are built to do it in style, my dear.
    Advice (assvice) is meaningless here…you know Leta is ok. No matter what goes on with your child, you as a mother will feel protective, scared, heartache, joy, and more…and depths of love you never thought possible. You are a mother. And your family is beautiful.

  • trisha

    Now, I think the issue here is that we don’t just know are children are okay. How could we know that?

    The reason a stranger’s comments can both hurt and terrify is because we just don’t know.

    I am certainly not suggesting anything is “wrong” with anybody. I am just remarking that it’s the not knowing, and to an extent the worry it is all our fault, that is the hardest part.

  • Rebecca

    My son didn’t walk until he was 16 months old. He’s three now, and nothing is wrong with him at all.

  • Gordon

    Free Chuck!

  • domino

    What everyone else said, especially Susie (#108) and Becka (#138)

    Dooce, your baby is perfect. Screw what everyone else thinks.

  • Sarah

    Not sure what the big deal is? My daughter crawled at 10 months, walked at 13 months. She’s 3 now and just fine. Everybody does their thing at different times and it all evens out.

    Kids who crawl late and for a while before they walk are supposed to be great readers!

  • trisha

    I personally don’t think there is anything wrong (“wrong”) with an child. Sheesh.

  • trisha

    any child. I mean any child.

  • closet metrosexual

    I don’t even remember how old my daughter was when she walked/crawled. Does that make me a bad dad? No, it’s just that in the long run, it really isn’t all that important when it happens, as long as sooner or later it does. As Leta is an only child with a SAHM, she’ll probably do these things a little later than a kid with older brothers and sisters or daycare buddies to learn from. The fact that you’re concerned that you’re doing enough for her is just further evidence that you’re a wonderful mother. Leta’s perfect, and I bet cousin GEORGE! will be willing to kick the asses of anyone who says different.

  • Molly

    Heather ~
    I know how you feel.. My 3 year old has ERBS Paulsey. It happened when she was born. She was an 11 pound baby, and well, she suffered major nerve damage in her left arm when she was born. She has been seeing a therapist every other week for 3 years.. Fortunately it is not as noticable now as it was even a year ago.. but the questions .. they get old.. I am so tired of explaining myself and the situation over and over..

    Here are my blanket responses..
    1. yes, she has a problem with her arm
    2. she was 11 pounds born at 38 weeks.
    3. no it was not a c-section
    4. yes, she is participating in OT every other week.

    thank you.