When little dudes learn to crawl it’s a very mixed blessing.
On the plus side of the ledger, it means your little girl is growing up and moving out to experience the world and is on time for her developmental milestones. She gets to explore and see the new things over her very tiny horizon.
On the minus side of the ledger, she gets to explore and see the new things over her very tiny horizon. When you go away and then come back, he won’t be where he was when you left him.
In fact, he’ll probably be over near some very delicate electronics. Drooling on it. Or seeing how good it tastes. You know, as babies are wont to do.
Take, for instance, Brina, a teller at my local bank. She’s the proud mother of a very young little dude who, just last week learned to crawl and is making the most of it.
“The first thing he went,” she said. “The very first thing. It was the DVD player. He kept trying to open the tray and smashing all the buttons and, I swear, trying to eat one of the knobs.”
And she is most definitely not alone.
The best news about crawling, though, is as an early-warning sign that walking is not all that far behind. Although, sometimes that walking thing can sneak up behind you with amazing stealth.
In this case, I speak from experience. My middle little dude, Zippy the Baby Boy, never actually crawled. Instead, what he’d do is the low-crawl. Imagine any movie where there’s a scene in an army boot camp. You remember the bit where they have to crawl under barbed wire, with live rounds shooting overhead? In the mud?
Yeah, that’s the low crawl.
And, for Zippy the Baby Boy, that was all that was necessary. His mom and I were worried that something was wrong so we took him to see our pediatrician. Nope, we were told, it’s all good. Some little dudes just don’t like to crawl.
Now, our oldest, Sarcasmo, was the cruiser type. He’d crawl to a couch, then use it to stand up and — leaning on the couch for balance — would begin walking back and forth for fun and exercise. And also for the LOLs, since he knew his mom and dad would come running to snatch away the stuff they’d unthinkingly left on the couch and was now within reach.
We figured that Zippy the Baby Boy would follow a similar trajectory. Nope. Not even close.
One day, sitting up in the middle of the floor, he got a strange look on his face. He watched Sarcasmo, who was 14 months older and at this point had been walking for a while, toddle past. He stared at the walking brother. Then he looked at the couch. And — I could swear — Zippy the Baby Boy shook his head.
Zippy the Walking Boy stood up, right there in the middle of the floor. Needing nothing for balance, having never crawled a day in his life, he simply stood up. Sure, he wobbled more than a little and eventually fell down before taking a step, but he was on his way.
I was not ready for two walkers in the house. Broadly, yes, I was ready because I’d already made the home as safe as I could for a walking, exploring little dude. Emotionally and planning-wise? Not nearly so ready.
There’s a certain mindset you need when you’re being left alone with two extremely mobile and varyingly hostile young organisms that just want to explore everything new.
I like to think of it in a basketball metaphor: This is the fast-break defense. You’re outnumbered and you know you can only do so much, so you have to triage your actions, make each one do the most good for the most little dudes. You’re probably going to get scored on, but your best hope is to delay them as long as possible.
That, however, is a post for another day.
Remember, expect the unexpected. Plan in advance for what you’re going to do with the next behavior. Because I guarantee you, if you wait until it’s manifesting, you’re too late.