“You want it to take as long as possible before Everett starts crawling.”
I hear a version of this statement about every other day. It usually comes after I answer “no” to a question on if Everett is crawling yet. I know they’re right. Our house still isn’t “baby proofed”. I am a big fan of being able to put my son down in front of some toys, and knowing he’ll at least still be in the same room when I turn around from my typing. Despite how annoying Everett’s hobby of performing his latest scream metal song at bed time or grabbing cords and bills while I hold him can be, I realize life is one hundred times simpler with a baby whose traveling consists of rolling or squirming.
I really shouldn’t want my son to be crawling.
Yet I’ve been spending the last few weeks devising “crawling exercises”. I’ve been playing several games that motivate my son to get on the move. I know this is a mistake I’ll regret deeply in a few weeks. I’ll have to give a bittersweet kiss good bye to any chance of getting writing work done when I’m left alone with Everett once he starts his self-guided exploration of the house.
But I can’t help it. I get too much of a thrill watching my son develop and learn new skills. Even if those skills are the death blow to my productivity.
It all started when I tried laying Everett on his stomach a few weeks ago and he immediately propped himself up into a crawling position. He seemed confused on how he got in this position and he tipped over after not being able to figure out what to do next. It was thrilling to see my son reach that stage, and I then became obsessed with getting him to work on it.
After a week, Everett got very comfortable being in that position (no, he wasn’t only in that position for the entire week—I’m not that obsessed). He was able to stay in the position much longer, and got comfortable looking around the room while lifting himself up with both his knees and hands.
Everett then started to rock back and forward while in the crawling position. It was almost like he was trying to build up some momentum to launch himself across the room. He doesn’t really make a lot of progress rocking back and forth, but it seems like a solid form of entertainment for five minutes (his daddy does it when he sits typing all day, after all). I knew the rocking was the first big sign that he was almost ready to crawl, and I got so excited that I forgot that this wasn’t something I wanted to happen quickly.
The other day I started putting toys just out of his reach. I was trying to give him some inspiration to do more than just rock in the crawling position. At first, he would just reach for the toys and then promptly do a face plant. He quickly figured out this wasn’t how he liked to spend an afternoon and stopped reaching for the toys when he was in this position.
Then he discovered a new way to get to the toys. He moved himself. He didn’t go far. He seemed shocked that he went forward, and ended up falling over right after. But for a whole 5 seconds he was doing what an overly generous parent would claim is crawling. After his failed crawling attempt, he still went for the toy by doing a great impression of a drunken snake.
Everett is extremely close to crawling. I am incredibly pumped about this fact. For now. I’m sure it will all change when he makes his first beeline for the stairs, or goes to figure out why Summit always checks out that can in our bathroom.