At the end of November, if someone asked us if Everett was crawling yet, Emily would answer, “Sort of. He does an army crawl where he pulls himself across the floor.”
I quickly corrected Emily with, “He is crawling. It is just his style of crawling.”
I was convinced that our son would never bother with the traditional form of crawling. He would often put himself in the position for it, and then decide he would rather imitate a snake. In his defense, he was a fast little snake.
At this point, he was usually being entertained by pulling himself up on chairs and couches (and falling after trying to get up on less than sturdy balls and stuffed toys). I assumed he’d look past the life of a crawler, and would focus his energy on more upright endeavors.
One of his favourite places to try to pull himself up was the stairs. He was able to get into a standing position, but couldn’t figure out how to make the big ascent. He wanted to crawl up the intimidating Mount Stairs, but he also realized his slithering ways weren’t enough to reach the Summit (our dog who likes to hang out at the top of the stairs).
Then December arrived, and Everett figured a new month meant time for new skills. He must have looked at the calendar and made the decision that December was not a good time to mimic a snake. Instantly he started roaming all over the floor with the traditional crawl. He also brought a newfound speed and an ambition to find every forbidden and dangerous place in the house.
The baby gate had to go up. But first, Everett had one thing that needed to be accomplished.
Everett had pulled himself up on the first step several times. He then usually spent the next ten minutes lifting his leg and then putting it back down again. He was nervous about making the climb up, but also seemed to be confused about how the task could be accomplished.
The ability to crawl like his buddy Summit had convinced him that he could do other things like the dog. Summit often ran up and down the stairs. Everett decided that if he could crawl, then he could definitely scale the scary staircase.
He didn’t pack a lunch for this steep climb. In less than ten minutes, Everett scaled the stairs for the first time, and his reward was an ecstatic daddy and a half asleep dog. It was a great moment, because Everett overcame one of the first challenges in his life.
It was obvious he had wanted to scale those stairs for a while, but he wasn’t quite sure how he could do it. He was determined to find out. He focused on the Summit (and the daddy), and conquered the stairs.
I look forward to watching my son accomplish many more challenges over his life. But I am not looking forward to the next several weeks of “stop Everett as he rushes towards the edge of the stairs.”