Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Why do you carry him? Let him walk!

Why do you still carry your son?

Take a guess at how many times I have been asked that question! It is usually followed by "how old is he? Isn't he old enough to walk?"


Yes I do still carry L, not all the time, but I do carry him. If L isn't being carried, he is riding in a trolley or sitting in the pram.

When I carry L, he looks like a little Koala. L wraps his arms tightly around my neck and his legs around my waist and buries his head into my shoulder. Every now and then he peeps over my shoulder behind us or raises his head just enough to see where we are going. If he sees something that interests him, L will sit up straight.

I am a petite woman and L is almost half my height. I have become quite apt at doing chores around the house and doing the shopping while carrying my little koala boy. L has become quite apt at holding on so tightly that both my arms can be free to do what needs to be done. But not so tightly that I can't breathe!

We don't get too many odd looks when he is in a trolley, but when he is being carried or he is in the pram, people just can't help but give strange looks.

They're looks as if to say "you spoil him" and "stop babying him." They will sometimes roll their eyes at me.

I've given up trying to explain why I still carry L. I now ignore the looks. I might even stare them down to make them feel uncomfortable.

I just enjoy the Koala cuddles, I'll kiss his head to reassure him and hold him even tighter.

L is a runner. L is impulsive and has no concept whatsoever of the idea of danger. He will take off onto busy roads, into car parks, through crowds of people, up flights of stairs, you name it he will have a go. No matter how many times we talk with L about the importance of not running off, he still does it. L doesn't run on purpose, he runs to serve a purpose.

L will see something that interests him and he takes off, at a very fast pace. It doesn't occur to him that he should tell us where he wants to go. It isn't until he gets to where he wants to go, that he looks around in fear to find us. L has scared himself several times, but that hasn't stopped him from running.

At times L will run because he wants to get away from the environment - there may be too many sounds, sights and people. The environment is too busy for his mind to process and he goes into sensory overload.

When L is being carried or is in the pram or a trolley, he doesn't run.

When L is being carried he feels safe and he's less likely to have a meltdown.

There are times when L does want to walk but invariably one of us will end up carrying him. It all becomes too much for him.


I know that the day will come when I am physically unable to carry L, but that day is not here yet. When that day arrives, we will figure something else out. We'll solve that problem when we face it.

But for the moment I will enjoy my koala cuddles from my little man and I will continue to carry him when he wants to be carried. I will continue to help L feel safe and secure.

And also because I am not quite ready to take that next step and make him walk everywhere!

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