It's Another Blue's Clues Day. On the Couch. Winning Mother of the Year.
Wow. So. Okay.

I am not your 28-pound monkey.

I am not your monkey because I am not here to entertain you today, but rather to seek ur knowledge and drink ur branes. You are MY MONKEY today. Answer my query, monkeys! And try to keep the feces-flinging to a minimum.

QUESTION: How old were your kids when they stopped insisting on being carried everywhere? Did you indulge this insistence until they got over it themselves or did you ever just put your foot down and make them walk places on their own? And if you did that, how did you deal with the boneless-floor-puddle-thing? Leashes? Shoulder-socket transplants? Games of chicken on the Capital Beltway?

Noah wants to be carried EVERYWHERE. I cannot get him to hold my hand and walk to the car or the mailbox or even just stand there by the ATM while I dig around for my wallet. This is particularly true in wide open and unfamiliar places, but he'll still pitch fits at the top of the stairs in our house because he wants me to carry him. "Up?" he asks, over and over, until it is NO LONGER A REQUEST, WOMAN. UUUUUPPPPP.

A long time ago a certain occupational therapist was vaguely horrified to hear that we carry Noah out in public most of the time. She said this was absolutely unacceptable at Noah's age and we had to insist on Walking Like A Big Boy. I nodded and pretended to care and thought about ponies instead. I sure do like ponies.

But today at the Mock Preschool For Kids Who Can't Talk Good And Want To Learn How To Do Other Stuff Good Too I noticed that I was the only parent carrying my kid across the parking lot and through the hallways and into the classroom. In fact, most of the kids insisted on walking themselves, while Noah started to protest the instant I slid him down past my hipbone. "No wok! UP!"

It's not that we haven't tried -- but seriously, I'm not about to get into a battle of wills when we're just trying to go to the post office, or let him collapse out in the crosswalk while I lecture him about acceptable Big Boy Behavior and how he is gunning for a life alone and living in our basement because he wants his mama to carry him at 28 months old, the goddamn pansy. He can walk and run and leave me in the dust at the playground; he just chooses not to most of the time. And in the end, he still just seems...like my baby. And you carry your babies. Yes? No? Uh...ponies?

Anyway. I'm really asking because I'm just curious -- not because I'm worried or looking for something new to be worried about. Honest! All my worry spots are completely booked right now anyway, I can't even THINK about taking on a new neurosis until AT LEAST April.


Comments

Heidi

Taylor and Noah are the same age - she always wanted to be carried as well - I got her past it by telling her that carrying her hurt mommy "too hard, hurts my back" and then would walk really slow and say "ow"...I know I know not exactly model parenting but i'm telling you that within a day she started saying "me walk, no hurt mommy".

imagine community

My son has been only walking around consistently since he turned four. We carried him in a front carrier and then a back carrier until almost age 3, and then we moved for a year to a town where we got around by bike, and he rode everywhere in the seat on the back. We do play a lot of games to get him to walk -- counting and swinging, "reeling in the fish," pretending to be birds to chase.... He still asks to be carried sometimes, but at this point I usually make him walk.

Kelly

I stopped carrying my son when he was about 2yrs old. Mostly he'd want to get down by then and scoot off into traffic. He was old enough by then to realize that I just couldn't anymore (pregnant). Now, at 3.5yrs, he wants to be carried sometimes but that's mostly jealousy issues.

Andria

I had to stop carrying my six year old when he was just three being newly pregnant and forbidden to lift more than twenty pounds. I tried to lift him onto something the other day and about broke my back. I so wish I could hold him again. I miss it. I have a nine month old and a three year old and I have been seen in the mall with one in a sling in the front and the other draped like a monkey on my back. I am a glutton for punishment, but I can't deny the look when the big one wants carried too.

Tina C.

our sons are about the same age (2.5). Over X-mas, my son was complaining that he didn't want to walk because walking hurt his legs. so i went and got him some spiffy shoes in a 1.5 size larger which he picked out at payless and i haven't heard any more complaints.

Kara

Okaaaay-
My baby had her eight year check-up yesterday and she is eleven inches shorter than I am. ELEVEN INCHES. She may be tall, but lift that kid and you'd swear she is hollow on the inside. I carried her A LOT (this is the kid who was MAYBE 20 lbs by her second b-day). We also lived in Boston when she was a preschooler. Not only did I carry her until after she was 3 (just faster and easier) but I got the biggest McLaren stroller they make and pushed her in that until the summer before 1st grade (just typing that last part horrifies me, but we walked everywhere in the city and sometimes she got tired).
Clearly, you need to do something about the demanding to be picked up while you're right in the middle of something, but you should carry him until you don't feel comfortable doing it anymore.

Mrs Butter B

Remember me? Its been a long time. 4 kids- 17, 14, 2, and 7 weeks.

Our 2 yr old is very independent- typical for a not-the-oldest kiddo. I remember our 2nd daughter used to want to be carried constantly, even at age 8. She hated not being at eye level- just seeing everyone's waists, knees, etc. She also got very overwhelmed with not having facial contact with people, and just feeling lost down there.

Have you considered that this may be related to his sensory issues? Being overwhelmed easily may contribute to his desire to be held/comforted, or it may simply be not enjoying the view down there.

As long as he CAN walk, I wouldn't stress as much. Believe me, he'll reach that point of "no, me do it" soon enough. I don't remember seeing any 12 yr old boys being carried by their mommies lately.

Don't stress. If he needs you, then he needs you. If you're at the mall mid-day (when its pretty much empty except for the elderly and slow moving folks), and he's willing to practice walking/try the escalator/etc with you, then I wouldn't worry when he doesn't want to walk alone other times.

Maybe going into his "group" is stressful, although fun at the same time, and he just needs that little extra bit of "mommy-assurance" to help him cope.

Veggie

Ok, forgive me if its been said already, but how about carrying him all the time, even when he doesn't want it. Reverse psychology and all. My daughter is 9 months and doesn't move anywhere, so I'm not really one to talk.

Mrs Butter B

Remember me? Its been a long time. 4 kids- 17, 14, 2, and 7 weeks.

Our 2 yr old is very independent- typical for a not-the-oldest kiddo. I remember our 2nd daughter used to want to be carried constantly, even at age 8. She hated not being at eye level- just seeing everyone's waists, knees, etc. She also got very overwhelmed with not having facial contact with people, and just feeling lost down there.

Have you considered that this may be related to his sensory issues? Being overwhelmed easily may contribute to his desire to be held/comforted, or it may simply be not enjoying the view down there.

As long as he CAN walk, I wouldn't stress as much. Believe me, he'll reach that point of "no, me do it" soon enough. I don't remember seeing any 12 yr old boys being carried by their mommies lately.

Don't stress. If he needs you, then he needs you. If you're at the mall mid-day (when its pretty much empty except for the elderly and slow moving folks), and he's willing to practice walking/try the escalator/etc with you, then I wouldn't worry when he doesn't want to walk alone other times.

Maybe going into his "group" is stressful, although fun at the same time, and he just needs that little extra bit of "mommy-assurance" to help him cope.

HRH

My vote is for the pony.

Cate

My son (now 11) wanted to be carried FOREVER, and I loved it, so I told him I'd carry him until he got big enough to carry me, then we'd switch. He's taller than me now, but so far I'm still walkin'....

AmyC65

Well, there are 2 things that come to mind for me. My baby is 10 and my 1st baby is 14 now. So I am dredging memories here. But I do specifically remember 10 yr old (SUPER strong willed child) sitting at the top of stairs and screaming because I wouldn't carry her down. And I just let her scream. I would keep enticing her "I'm making noodles! MMMmmm these are good noodles!" and eventually she would come down. I'm sure I caved alot because she was pissing me off, or I had someplace to go. But I tried to have the "I will not be bested by a 2 yr old" mentality - which has translated to an "I will not be bested by a 10 yr old" mentality. I just was not that mom who was going to tote along a toddler on my hip - she needed to be held so much, I had some lines I had to draw for my sanity. I'm an only child, I like my personal space, I guess.

OK, that said - same 10 yr old slept on our floor from about 8-10 yrs old. Started after months of waking nights and fights back to bed. I finally thought, "oh, we'll do this floor thing for awhile and she'll get sick of it soon enough". Ha! But, I did learn that no one goes to middle school sleeping on their mom's floor, no one gets on the school bus wearing PullUps, etc. I spent alot of time fighting with her through the night, when she just grew out of it when she was ready.

It's hard to make those distinctions between when to be tough and when to be soft. There are those occasional 6 yr olds with pacifiers that make me glad I was tough. And there are the long days with my 10 yr old that make me wish I'd been tougher. ANd lots of nights, when as I fall asleep, I wonder if I should have been softer.

Cheri

My only turned 6 in Dec. and I had sworn at 5 that I wouldn't carry her anymore. Well sometimes that "Hold me?" is just too much to resist. And heck, sometimes even now it's easier to just hoist her up and go. So... if you're wanting confirmation that now is the time to stop, well, just do it or don't but it's really nothing to worry over. Save that for fashion and menu planning - important stuff!!

leigh

Oh. I miss that. My 13 year old walks away.

bellevelma

The only reason I remember this is because I SO wanted him to stay in the stroller so I could go out and get exercise, brisk walking pushing the stroller, but NO. At 2 1/2 he insisted on walking (and pushing the stroller) himself.

After that, when he DID want to be carried we'd lie and say, oh, mommy's back hurts, I can't pick you up, you will have to walk. Or I'd pick him up and say, I'll carry you to that lamp post and then you have to walk to the fire hydrant. Then I'd pick him up again and we'd repeat the game, me carrying shorter and shorter distances until finally I lied about my back again. I'm not above lying to children when it suits me. ;)

HolyMama!

i LOVE that phase, actually. i have 4 kids. I carry them until they insist I stop, until a younger kid needed to be carried (and i even freakishly mastered the kid on EACH hip phase), or until age 4 1/2 when they were just too heavy.

Shauna Riordan

Dear Amy,

My name is Shauna and I am 6 years old. My mom told me about your question and I want to answer it. I like it when my mom picks me up to hold me. You should still carry him.

Amy,
Shauna is my youngest and will sometimes still ask to be pick up. She definately likes the contact. I don't think there is anything wrong with still carrying a 2 year old. I know I carried my older kids until they were about 4 because my kids are all 4 1/2 years apart. I think there is something important that Noah gets from being in arms. You and he will work it out and do what is best for your family. You are doing a great job so far!
Jean in MA

Colleen

You probably won't get to this comment, considering there are so many before this one. Guess that means I can say exactly what I want without anyone responding. yay!

Here's the way I look at it. I like carrying my kids. I look at them now and wish I could tuck my 10 year old in my arms, curl him into my lap...but alas time has flown by and he is way too big. But I always changed things when I started to feel annoyed and resentful ie. the boys sleeping in my bed and kicking me in the gut.

I do remember one thing, and I think of it alot when I read what you are going through with Noah. I had such huge expectations with my first child. By the time my 3rd son came long, I was just happy if he could smile at a year. kidding. But when I look back at how much older I treated my 1st, how he was a big boy in my eyes way sooner than he should have been, it breaks my heart. When you talk about Noah, I see that he is still just a little fella. In the end, as you know, they will all (mostly) be talking, pooping in the toilet, running....

The thing I have told friends over and over. Trust your instincts. And then I tell them a story about my neice, who slept with her Mom every night. How my sister-in-law was constantly critized for it. And how I'm sure she never regretted a night of it after losing her to cancer at 4 1/2 years old, bless her heart.

So, long winded comment being over, trust your instincts. And if you decide to pick this battle, be ready.

T.

I am really late to this party so I'm sure this has all been said.

I think mine were all in their three's before this wasn't an issue. My littlest is 2.5 and wanted to be carried to the mailbox today. I was tired, so I did the "I'm gonna get you!" game and he forgot all about it because he was running and squealing. Then there are the days I get the limp noodle in the middle of traffic. I just pick him up and carry on. Some days I have to "win" the battle and I let him scream.

I think it boils down to just getting past the latest phase with whatever works at for you at the time. Because you know what? One day you will say "wow, he hasn't wanted to be carried in a long time!" You won't have realized it because it will have been replaced by another little (or big and annoying) phase! Noah will be fine and you will not have to carry him across the stage at his high school graduation. =)

supertiff

i really hope i can be as good of a mom as you are one day...even if you carry noah everywhere for another five years.

Kay

I want to know who the hell these people are that want 2 (and barely 2) year olds to be completely self sufficient, speaking like a 25 year old and behaving like they are 52?
To answer your question. My grandson is 25 months, he doesn't ask to be held in public, likes to walk but in the privacy of our own home where noone sees?
"Hold you Nana!"
Melts my heart and if someone tries to tell me to tell him "NO, you are a BIG BOY!" I will bust a cap in their ass.
That's all.
:)

Brighton

Our oldest Sara, who has Down Syndrome, was so tactile defensive that she did the same thing. Wouldn't walk anywhere until she was alomst five years old! I would get dirty looks from other moms as well, but I didn't want to hear the wailing that went with my making her walk.
I don't know what others have told you so far, with four kiddos of my own I just don't have time to read all of the comments, but I can tell you that Noah will want to walk on his own when he's good and ready. Don't get into pissing wars with other moms and what their "perfect" kids are doing and how flipping early they did it. It's just not worth expending the energy to worry about those other kids out there.
Your a great mom and a dedicated mom. Noah is a lucky kid : )

teachergirl

http://ahappiergirl.blogspot.com/

I think her title actually says it all. Happy Saturday!!

teachergirl

http://ahappiergirl.blogspot.com/

I think her title actually says it all. Happy Saturday!!

a mom 2 one


My daughter loved to be carried, it only bothered me when someone made comments to me, and otherwise I did not care.
We live in Manhattan, and my daughter loved her stroller, so we had a 4 year old in a stroller!

Don’t worry, one day your concerns will be about teen drinking and smoking which is so much more annoying then carrying your 2.5 year old everywhere. .

kat

I seem to recall carrying my son an awful lot...well past the age of three. He was my baby, and I loved the feeling of him on my hip. He eventually decided to navigate on his own and now that he's 16, I barely get a kiss from him anymore! Enjoy your closeness while you can!

b

One word: stroller. The little umbrella ones (the clunky ones are a pain in the ass, especially for short trips) It's a compromise. He can't be carried but he can ride. Eventually he will want to get out and explore. Kids don't love strollers like they love mommies.

rachael

Wow, who knew this was such a hot topic.

I say carry the boy if he wants to be carried and relish being the mom with the most ripped biceps.

(Said from the Mom who has occasionally carried a 7 year old cause she asked nicely.)

Eventually they'll stop wanting to be carried, right?

Nancy

Have you read "The Highly Sensitive Child"? By Elaine Aron. being a Highly Sensitive Person and having two highly sensitive children, I highly recommend it.

I don't remember how long I carried my children, but I know it was long past when others thought it was "appropriate". They both needed to be up above the fray. There was too much stimulus for them down at their level, so they preferred to be up.

warcrygirl

My oldest (the one with "issues" as a friend once put it) wanted to walk, nay, RUN everywhere the second he learned to walk. My youngest, on the other hand, would sense me trying to put him down and would squeeze his knees around my hip like a chimp. I carried him most everywhere for as long as I could carry him, until around age 3 or so. He's six now and still occassionally asks me to carry him to bed. HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! I don't think so.

M

The kid is 6'6" and 16 years old and if I could hoist his 160# boney ass onto my hip he would still choose to hang there rather than walk! But he can talk good. And dribble a basketball real good. Come to think of it, maybe he should be carrying my ass about now!

Donna

Having a sister nine years younger, I watched her want to be carried well past five - and we all did it.
I didn't with my son. But, I think the fact he was extremely independent at an early age helped alot. Besides, when I became pregnant with our daughter while he was 19 months I wasn't allowed to lift him (high-risk pregnancy) so he had to walk whether he wanted to or not.

P.S. Love your blog!

Lesley

Hi Amalah & Noah,
My "baby" is now 24 years old and rarely even cuddles any more. However, somewhere up there someone mentioned that Noah likely won't be asking to be carried at his prom and that's very true. My daughter, Lyn, allowed me to carry her if she was tired, but preferred to walk, all to the tune of "You Don't Really Expect Me To SIT In That Stroller, Do You?" I don't recall when the transition happened, but I suspect that the stage of wanting to be carried that she did go through was more an appreciation of the different view when Mommy carried her. Remember, when you're only a couple of feet tall everyone looks much the same, just some of those old nostrils look bigger and scarier than others! It seems, from your writings, that you're an incredibly caring and nurturing Mom and I hope you're having an absolute blast.
Cheers,
Lesley

Scatteredmom

Jake didn't walk until he was 20 months old, anyway.

I think we carried him for stairs and things, or long walks, because he just couldn't navigate some things and/or he got tired quicker.

Follow your instincts.

Michelle

My oldest is thirteen.. If she wasn't 3 inches taller than me I'd still be carrying her. (she most likely wouldn't let me, because people would point and laugh, and there comes a time when they DO NOT want to be seen near the Parent.)

Enjoy it while it lasts..

Indonesian Writing-AHM

I think it was sometimes after her 2 year-old birthday. She is such a heavy girl. But, we try to carry her sometimes just to show that actually we do care. Once I hurt my back while carrying her. After that, she asked me not to carry her anymore because she was afraid that it might hurt me. I had to insist that it was ok until I could carry her. It just feels warm, you know.

Beret

I carry my kids whenever they ask me to. Of course my 6 year old never asks anymore, but my almost 3 year old son will still ask and even though he's 43 lbs (yes!) I still do it happily. It will be over all too soon, and he loves to softly pat my back as I carry him. Joy!

If Noah *can* walk I wouldn't worry about it. Enjoy it!

kym b

#1 ~ at 23 months because that is when #2 was born

#2 ~ at about 2.5 yrs because that is when #3 was born

#3 ~ exactly the same age as Noah (I think they are a day apart) still gets carried anywhere. She has been walking since 9 months old, but is teeny-tiny and I don't want her to get lost in the shuffle. I will carry her as long as I can, beats having her dart out in traffic.

Noah's your baby, carry him as long as you like. If you are wanting him to walk more and be more independent, then gently encourage that. If not, don't worry about it. It's not like you will have to carry him to middle school or anything, he'll outgrow it.

Winston

As soon as he could walk, my first son refused to go in the stroller and insisted on walking everywhere. Even to the mall 1.5 km away. Since then, if I carry him it's usually against his objections because I want to go faster. (He's four now)

Second son isn't walking yet.

Jen in Jakarta

Oh my goodness

I need to have a talk to my 4 yr old, actually my 40 month old.

He still likes to be carried everywhere and on long trips out will ask to be pushed in a stroller....

Both my girls stopped at around 2- 2.5 yrs old.....

Gina

I have 2 kids....I say carry him until he doesn't want you to. And, believe me, that will come sooner than you think. With my first daughter (she's 5 now), I was overly concerned with "the book says" and what other people thought. With my second daughter (she's 2), I don't care what anybody else says. I carry her when she wants me to carry her & don't when she wants to walk (as long as it's safe).

TGI

I say give him what he asks for. It's not like you're going to be carrying him when he's 10. He's dealing with a lot.
Give him chances to walk. When he asks for a lift, hoist him. Don't make it a battle. (Remeber: food.) He'll walk when he's ready and then you be sad about that.

janny226

Duckyboy still would want me to carry him if I could. Oops, sometimes I still do. He's on the small side of normal for 5. Since we live in NYC we got to do the stroller thing whenever we f'ing well pleased. I almost always made him walk home from preschool, which wasn't a torturous way but a conscious decision to make sure his legs work. They work fine. He takes gymnastic lessons now. Phooey on those who want to tell you what to do. Carry him when you want to. There will come plenty of times when you can;'t (arms full of his school bookbag, your shopping, the mail, and whatever stuffed animal he has you dragging for him) and then you won't feel bad saying "Sorry, can't do it" 'cause you know you carried him as long as you could. I still can't quite bring myself to get rid of the stroller.

beastarzmom

I'm a big believer in the whole "kid will work it out on his own" technique. Kids are 5-17 now, and none of them went to kindergarten in diapers, the older ones all read just fine by high school, despite quite different approaches and timelines.
If Noah needs to be carried *and you CAN carry him*... why not?

Fogspinner

I have a hard time remember the carrying stage. Probably because it was over 10 years ago. Once my son learned to walk we never *had* to carry him again. You know, unless we were in a hurry and wanted to get there TODAY. What I do remember were melt downs. Those were ignored if caused by a definite lake of want to, IE tantrum. If he melt down because someone was mean to/hurt him, that's different. We found that just ignoring the tantrum was most effective. Sure people will look at you like "holy hell woman shut that screaming pile of goo up" but you'll be happier for it. It's their own little bit of control over your life. Maybe try to control where you have that first standoff. It will be the worst. Say you're trying to leave for the store and he doesn't want to walk to the car. Turn and walk away from the puddle on the floor, stand by the door, and say "when you're ready to go, we'll go", then occupy yourself by the door, for you know, ever. Maybe plan for a day when you aren't out of beer or milk. :-) This usually works best if you choose a place they really LIKE to go.

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