I used to have a boy who did not walk. That's not entirely true, he COULD walk, he just didn't see the point in walking from point A to point B in any sort of useful manner. Rather than wait out the eternity it would take to walk to the grocery store at 2 year old pace, I got into the rather bad habit of scooping him up and carrying him to wherever I was trying to go...even if this intended destination was a playground or similar place meant primarily for K's entertainment. BAD HABIT!
Once I came down with this semi-debilitating stomach bug from the trenches of hell, I found myself utterly incapable of carrying K anywhere. He screamed for a while...rather pitifully trailing behind N and I while we shuffled to the next door grocery store for soup and saltines. Nevermind the fact that we were very rationally explaining why it was simply impossible to expect that either of us could carry him the few remaining feet to the store. We explained about bellyaches and feeling sick, and helping Mommy and Daddy out to pretty much no avail.
And then, N and K went on a walk together. It required some heart to heart discussion about helping Mommy out and now my boy walks. Not only walks!, he occasionally RUNS. (I have a feeling there was some candy involved, and I'm sure the few days of being shut in with sick parents shed a new light on self-mobility.)
Yes, there's still some whining...but we take it slow, and we have only been walking to short destinations that are entirely worthwhile for K (i.e. playgrounds), so there's been REAL progress.
Yesterday, we were waiting for the local metro rail to take us home when I overheard a mother scream at her daughter, who looked roughly K's age, to walk. I know the feeling all too well. Is there ANYTHING more frustrating than KNOWING your child can walk and yet refuses leaving you with either a tantrum situation (PLUS no walking) or a passive 40lb dead weight to carry? Apparently this is why everyone uses a stroller until the kid's school-aged! (Note: I'm not agreeing with the screaming solution, just sympathizing with the general feelings of frustration a toddler's refusal to walk can invoke in the hardiest of parents.)