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ELECTION 2022

I am sure my daughter will learn to walk

SUNDAY MAGAZINE
By Nancy Nzau | Sep 6th 2015 | 2 min read

Are you sure everything is okay? Mbona hajaanza kutembea?

Those are some of the questions that I have to contend with when friends and relatives visit. Everyone wants to know why, my daughter Joy, who is just 16 months old, has not started walking.

As a matter of fact, they are even more worried than I should be that her legs cannot yet support her own weight.

She crawls, she leans against the table, the wall or me for support. And I think that is sufficient for now. I also think she is just within her “development spectrum.”

Now humans, being the funny creatures that we are, especially those who choose to see the shortcomings and negative aspects in every situation, will not recognise the milestones she has  achieved.

They will not recognise that Joy can talk — not much but she has mastered the basics of language and she is eloquent.

She can act intelligent roles such as speaking into her toy phone while expressing emotions such as anger. She makes faces, frowning here and there, while throwing her hand up in the air.

Joy is emotionally independent, she knows when it is time to cuddle with mama; she understands when I am busy and follows suit by keeping busy with her toys.

She expresses little discomfort whenever I am leaving and calms down before I reach the gate as opposed to sulking all day or showing no discomfort all together.

Oh, and she can sing!

NOTHING WRONG

I have to admit that at times I get a little worried when I see toddlers her age or even younger, trotting around without the help of their mamas or artificial support systems, but her doctor established that there is nothing wrong with her legs.

I know Joy deserves better and that does not include an obsessive mother who forces her to develop her walking skills before her time. I am not going to force my expectations down her throat. Even though I massage her calves and train her to walk every so often, I try not to make it a focal point lest she gets frustrated and ends up feeling insufficient...

And no, I am not going to rush her to every available paediatrician in the city. I would rather buy her toy phones so that she can hone her communication skills.

She deserves a positive and a relaxed mother who believes in her abilities. And that is what I plan on being. Always.

Hopefully she will have a better world view and pass the attitude to her little cubs. I call them cubs because I liken Joy to a lioness. She is just as fierce.

By now I am almost sure that I am not raising an athlete or some sports star but a communicator.

I am almost sure that I am raising a mediator, a marketer, a teacher, a poet or a singer, and I am well prepared for that.

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