Are You Raising a Mama's Boy?
March 7, 2011
© Sarah Preston Gorenstein
Preston was the baby who never moved. He was happily swaddled till he was almost five months old -- I mean, not a wiggle to try to get out of that thing. Then we went straight to the sleep sack, which is how he slept till about nine or 10 months old. I swear. I have always said, I think this delayed his mobility a little…being swaddled and wrapped in a sleep sack prevented him from physically being able to turn onto his stomach in his crib, but it sure made him a good sleeper (or so we believe). Thus, he never was a stomach sleeper, which I also believe has a direct correlation to crawling. Kids who sleep on their stomachs tend to get stronger neck muscles, and get ready to crawl earlier. That tushy up position is the first step to crawling, in my opinion. He never did that. He also hated tummy time, which we admittedly didn't start early enough. We weren't intentionally trying to delay him of course...but when you find something that works, you tend to stick with it.
Whether all of this led to him being so late to hold his head up, sooo late to sit up on his own, so so late to crawl, and even later to walk, I can't say for sure -- but I suspect it didn't help. Even at his one-year birthday party, which we held at an adorable and fun indoor play pen, he was hardly doing the army crawl by then, so he couldn't even enjoy the space filled with every toy imaginable. I had to physically move him from area to area to play with the toys, or bring stuff to him to play with…not so fun for him, or me. (I was sweating like a pig during the whole party, getting the workout of my life.) Looking back, it probably wasn't the right place and time to hold such a birthday party, even though all the other kids seemed to have a great time.
So at 18-months-old, Preston is FINALLY walking on his own. He took his first official solo steps, totally unprompted, on Friday. He'd been cruising for months, and took his first couple steps about two months ago, but he didn't start officially walking on his own till Friday. Of course, this was while the nanny was with him at a music class… I was there for the first couple steps he took, but not the first official solo walking gig. Such is the sacrifice you make as a working mom…
But more importantly, why were we so worried about him NOT walking? We had it so easy for so long. Up until he was a year old, we could stick him in one spot to play, and go do our thing and not have to worry about what he was getting into. I could watch an entire marathon of The Real Housewives, every series, and he'd still be sitting in exactly the same spot. All that changed when he started crawling of course…for months now he's become an Olympic speed crawler (they should seriously consider adding this as an event at the Olympics). He out-crawls our English Goldendoodle, he's so fast. And since he's so tall for his age, he's able to let himself into all of our rooms (he can open the door handles), turn on the water in our bathtub, reach onto our dining room table and kitchen countertops…even before he was officially "walking."
But now that he's actually walking on his own there's no telling what kind of trouble he'll be getting into. Lately he's taken to standing up on the couch, attempting to plunge off the back of it -- um, I don't think so. I'm way too much of a worrier to let that happen. My husband would love for Preston to become a rough-and-tumble kid, but there's no way I can be less uptight about these things. Jay thinks I'm going to turn our son into a "pussy" (his words, not mine). Frankly, I'm fine with raising a pussy, if that means it'll keep him safe. There's nothing wrong with raising a mama's boy, I know Christine Coppa agrees. And so far, Preston is every bit the mama's boy. (Mom, or mama, is his favorite word -- he refers to everyone, including my husband, that way.)
Preston's always been much more of a verbal kid than a physical one anyway -- not to brag, but he knows every letter of the alphabet already (okay, I'm rather proud of that one). He's a total book worm, too, and VERY vocal -- he is so talkative, the minute I get home from work he is telling me (in gibberish) about his day (I think?), complete with hand gestures, voice intonations and furrowed brows. Whatever he's saying, he's saying it with a lot of gusto. I am also a pretty passionate and animated speaker (don't get into an argument with me, I am a master debater), and have a hard time holding back my opinions (if you couldn't tell), so I think I know where he gets it from.
Is it wrong that I'd rather raise a smart kid than a fearless one? Don't get me wrong: I'd love for him to be athletic and sporty AND smart, if that's what he shows an inclination for, but my husband has high hopes of him becoming an NBA star (he was the star basketball player of his own high school and attended college on a basketball scholarship). But come on: How many Jewish pro-athletes do you know? I'm just saying.