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“My friend Jane’s son was born three months after my own daughter. Now that they are in second grade, you’d hardly notice this age difference at all, but early on, it was hard to believe that would ever be true. When Benjamin was born, Penelope seemed like a giant. When he was a floppy 6-week-old infant, she was 4 and a half months old, well on her way toward being a real, solid, baby.
But then came walking. At a year, like the average kid, Benjamin got up and started toddling around. Not Penelope. By the time he was walking, she was fifteen months old and seemed to show no inclination. It is sometimes easy to ignore the way your children differ from the average, but walking was so visible, so salient. Plus, we saw Benjamin all the time, so it was hard to avoid comparisons.
At Penelope’s 15-month well-child visit, our very practical and pragmatic pediatrician, Dr. Li, told me not to worry that she wasn’t walking. “If she’s not walking by 18 months,” she said, “we’ll call in early intervention. But don’t worry! She’ll figure it out.” I did not have Dr. Li’s relaxed confidence or breadth of experience. I tried to explain to Penelope how to walk; she didn’t care. I tried to provide incentives, which were ineffective. You recall: She was a baby.
And then, about two weeks after the doctor visit, Penelope walked. Just like it was no big deal. Perhaps because she was so old by the time she learned, she never fell down much, either, just went from crawling around to walking normally in a day or two. And then I promptly forgot about my fear that she would never walk and moved on to other neuroses. (There are always more neuroses around the corner when you’re parenting.)”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"With many other countries already studying the Asian playbook, the United States and Europe could benefit from doing the same."
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"...there is something worth paying attention to in this latest petition from fans keen to have a creative work made the way that they want it. The comments on the petition are instructive."
"The sunny job numbers and steady growth hide the fact that most people think the economy works only for people in power."
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"The logic of attributing mental states to nonhuman animals is complicated. We cannot use deductive inference, because there are no general rules..."
"As the canon of English literature slowly, gradually opens itself up to books by women and authors of color, Modern Library and Penguin Classics have just launched two new series..."
"Egalitarian couples assume their progressive ideology will carry the day. Sociologists know that it doesn’t.... sharing child care is associated with valuing gender equality..."
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"Now some 200,000 Jews live in Germany, a nation of 82 million people, and many are increasingly fearful.... 85 percent of respondents in Germany characterized anti-Semitism as a “very big” or “fairly big” problem..."