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Clumsy Toddling

A few months ago, the Pookie walked up to Londo with his little toddling steps, looked at him, roared like a lion and then... fell down. This is pretty typical for my little boy.

For months now, my son has really loved walking around everywhere. He loves to climb and run and do that arms-thrown-up-legs-going-from-bent-to-strait-not-really-jumping jump and try to keep up with his sister. He didn't start crawling or walking as early as his sister did, but he's definitely within the range of normal. And once he did start moving, he didn't want to stop.

The problem is, well, he is clumsy. It's also probably in the range of normal for a toddler, but Londo and I just aren't sure. In addition to being early with her gross motor skills, the Pumpkin also had natural balance and, I don't know, the opposite of being clumsy. And when she did fall, she would just laugh, get back up and keep going. She rarely actually got hurt, and we think she must have naturally braced herself with her hands and moved her body to absorb the falls better. Or something.

The Pookie, well he is a different person than his sister. He will be running or even walking and then fall down. Even when there is nothing to trip over or cause him to fall down that we can see. And he inevitably ends up with a cut or bruise, usually on his face. Right now, he has a big bruise between his eyes from sliding off the rocking glider and a cut on top of that bruise from falling somewhere else. Even though he was on his stomach on the glider and I thought he would be perfectly fine, he slid right off and banged his face on the wooden legs. And started crying his little heart out. The next day, he fell on something else and that black and blue bruise split into a cut.

It kills us when we are right. there. with him! Watching him, trying to ensure he is safe. And then... BAM! He's down, face first, crying and bleeding. I don't know if most toddlers are this clumsy. I don't know if this is a normal part of the learning curve. I don't know if it's something he'll grow out of or if he'll always be a little clumsy.

Luckily, he is getting better and better controlling his body. He's really stable now when he walks, he's getting much better at climbing, and he's tripping over less things. He still falls a bit and gets bruises and cuts (see earlier incident from glider and who-knows-what-else). But we are getting better and better and being okay with it. It's just part of who he is.

Sometimes, it's even funny. Like when we watch both kids run across the room. The Pumpkin takes off fast... the Pookie takes off right behind her... the Pumpkin makes it halfway across the room... the Pookie goes down with a THUMP! Londo and I just shake our heads and chuckle. I mean, what can you do? We keep looking at each other saying, at least he's adorable. Even with the bumps and bruises.


hush said…
I have a friend who is the mother of 4 girls, and her youngest DD is the same age as my DS. When we first started playing over at her house when DS was 11 months old, I was really surprised that even though we had 2 kids who were the exact same age, she didn't have a baby gate blocking the bottom of the stairs like we needed to have at our house to keep DS from climbing them and attempting to jump from them all.the.time.

Now I have a 14-month-old DD who has been walking since 8 months, and no baby gate is needed because she is just so much more careful and competent at walking and climbing than her older brother was at that age. I'm not one to attribute such differences to gender, however.. sample size like 5 kids, it sure seems like baby girls are not nearly as accident-prone as their male counterparts.
Melba said…
Rosie wasn't really that clumsy. And neither is Annie. So maybe hush is onto something with her gender theory. Sample size 7 kids now.

But it makes sense that just like some adults are more clumsy than others (I'm a total clutz compared to my husband), so are kids. Especially when you're only a wee toddler and still walking like Frankenstein's monster after a few too many wobbly pops.

I love that phase though by the way... when toddlers walk with both arms up in the air, waddling along. Super cute.
Jac. said…
When DS was learning to walk I felt embarrassed to take him out in public because he looked like we beat him. He had bumps, bruises, cuts, black eyes for months on end. He was much more aggressive with his movement (and still is) - trying to run before he could walk, wanting to climb EVERYTHING, etc. So, sample size of 8 - I vote for the gender theory.

I think I've mentioned it before, but we really found that toddler gymnastics helped. At the very least, they helped teach him to fall "properly" while he was engaging in his crazy risk taking behaviour.
Cloud said…
I'll let you know if Petunia is clumsy or not when she finally decides to walk with regularity. We've seen her take some steps unaided... but she currently prefers to crawl or walk with her walker.

Also, maybe I'll find the time to look up what Pink Brain, Blue Brain says about gross motor development!
songbird said…
My little one is only clumsy after he's grown suddenly - it's like he's not quite sure where his feet are in relation to the rest of him anymore. After a day or so he figures it out and is fine. Boy, for a data point.
geeks in rome said…
what are his body proportions?? is he lean and mean or chunky and meaty? Cute pudgy babies I've seen have had a really hard time with coordination. Between growth spurts and body mechanics (plus unnatural impediments like full diapers and stiff jeans), walking can be a challenge for some kids.

My son was extremely agile and walked at 10 months. He had/has an athletic physique and just exudes ACTION! yet his personality has always been one of prudence and caution (Libra) so he rarely fell or got hurt because he was always assessing his surroundings and responding appropriately. (one of his first words was "danger")

My daughter was REALLY not careful. I was so spoiled with DS that I had all these hazards I took for granted she wouldn't be vulnerable to and instead... (think blender whose electric cord is dangling off of counter...) It only took two incidents to realize she has a sunnier more optimistic outlook and is not anticipating danger around every corner.

She walked at 10.5 months and has an athletic body type. She's not particularly clumsy, but she gets hurt more because she is just less cautious than her brother. Ironically he is extroverted and she is introverted!!

Let him grow into that new body but if you think with time you still feel in your gut something is not right, have it looked into. Ear problems can cause balance issues.

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