Sometimes They Just Don’t Want To
June 30, 2010
Wanda’s 9 months old and she still can’t put any weight on her legs. While other babies her age are walking around wreaking havoc, she’s content to cause trouble on the down low, crawling along like an inch-worm. At six months I wasn’t worried. Each baby develops at her own pace. But at nine months this struck me as odd.
Our pediatrician gave her a thorough exam. He said that some babies don’t put weight on their legs because they physically can’t while others avoid it because they don’t want to. All of Wanda’s structures are intact. He says she’s just a “don’t want to” kind of girl for now.
Now this “not wanting to” doesn’t imply that she doesn’t become enraged and impatient whenever she sees another baby walk. Oh, she gets mad! She screeches and flaps her arms like an angry monkey and then rocks back and forth on her hands and knees. But when we try to pull her up to standing, her legs go limp like rotund noodles. She doesn’t WANT to. But I think she wants to want to because she likes what wanting implies.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether someone can’t do something or just doesn’t have the desire or willpower. As a parent, I feel like I’m supposed to have it all magically figured out.
For a while I was really worried about Magoo’s attention span because it seems he’s always forgetting things, forgetting to stop playing Wii when he’s done his level, forgetting to do his chores, forgetting that he’s not allowed to turn on the light in his bedroom at night and flood it with water.
I’m starting to clue in to the fact that he may just not want to remember.
In Laylee’s case for a long time we thought she just “didn’t want to” listen very well. Then at age 5 we found out that she needed hearing aids and felt awful for all the times we’d gotten on her case about paying closer attention to instructions.
Dan and I “can’t do” fix-it projects around the house... mostly because we don’t want to. We could learn how to do pretty much anything if we put our minds and our backs into it but we choose to say, “We’re just not handy,” rather than, “We’d rather not.”
I wonder if Wanda’s in denial about her lack of mobility or if she joys in the fact that she can decide whether to use her chubby little legs or not. Personally, I’m glad that she’s currently choosing not to stand or walk. Legs on a baby are dangerous things and the use of them should be avoided as long as possible.