At some point in a baby’s first year, crawling develops. Parents are delighted and overjoyed that their little one is growing fast and developing before their eyes. Underneath the joy and pride, however, is the bane of any parent’s sanity. With crawling comes this thing called independence, and the kid thinks he’s entitled to go wherever he damn well pleases. I was ready for tantrums, hypervigilance around the house and repeated trips to “trouble spots” all around my home. The good news: I survived the first month. The bad news: many more months stand before me.
Mason began crawling a few weeks ago. Big news! No longer are Mommy and Daddy the sole transporters of his cute little behind. Mason hadn’t made it easy on us either. He made it clear he wanted to move well before he was capable of doing so. He’d lay in one place and scream and scream and scream until one of us brought him to where he wanted to go. Once he learned (finally) to roll onto his stomach…he couldn’t figure out how to go the other way. Scream, scream, scream. I’d say that’s when the annoying repetition began. The process went about like this:
- Mason flips to stomach, cries.
- Daddy flips him back, smiles.
- Ten seconds.
- Daddy flips.
- Thirteen seconds.
- (continue ad nauseum)
- Mason crawls to bathroom (his favorite trouble spot)
- Mommy/Daddy grabs him, brings him back to living room
- Mason smiles, hauls ass back to bathroom
- Grab, return.
- Smile, haul ass.
- Mommy/Daddy get smart and close bathroom door
- Screams of anger.
- Daddy contemplates leaping from the roof into raspberry bushes.
- (continue ad nauseum)
Then there are the marks. Body marks. Our once perfect son’s skin has been pocked and scraped from his learning to crawl. First there was “The Phelps Maneuver.” Picture the butterfly stroke you see in the olympics, only use it to drag yourself across the floor. His chest suffered from that one, but he did score a gold medal for the floor stroke. Nowadays, Mason’s poor little feet are torn up and dry because he still drags them sometimes. Usually they don’t seem to bother him, but they look so painful, you just wish he would get up and walk already…then you remember what a pain in the ass crawling is and wonder what pain-inflicting self-harm walking will bring you to contemplate.
Looking back, I’m wondering how I survived these first few weeks of crawling. I know that toys can (but not always) play a pivotal role in distracting little movers. We have this “bumpy ball.” It’s like one of those dog balls that never pops, and when you squeeze it, it expands in comical ways. Mason digs the bumpy ball. More often than not, if you throw it in his direction, he’ll follow it wherever it goes. Oh, and one of our cats, Genkins, is an ample deterrent. Mason loves to chase him because Genkins is the dumb-ass out of our cats…he waits until he’s about to be grabbed before finally scurrying off. Genkins has learned that jumping to higher ground works…for now. We’re trying to teach Mason to “do nice” to the cats…only time will tell…
Anyway, there are ways to deal with crawling, and I know it’s only going to get worse as walking (and falling) becomes a reality. Mason is learning to explore his world, and learning boundaries and limits comes with the territory at this stage. Unfortunate as it may be for my blood pressure, it’s par for the course. I can only hope he forgives me when he reads this years from now…Sorry, little buddy, I just don’t think you need to explore toilets and the contents of “the hygiene drawer” at this point. I still love you though! 🙂