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Jane Yee: Crawl and effect

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JANE YEE
ON THE MOVE: What's in store now Vic's crawling?

Victor's been threatening to crawl for a month now, and yesterday he made good on his promise. He propped himself up on his chubby hands, leaned his little bum back on his heels, then put one wobbly knee forward, then a hand, then a knee, then a hand...

And just like that my life has changed.

I'd been looking forward to this this day, but also dreading it. Looking forward to it because little Vic has been so frustrated with not being able to crawl and I wanted to see an end to his misery. Dreading it because I know this is a game-changer. He's on the move. A little hurricane on outstretched palms and dimpled knees.

So far on this parenting journey I've felt very relaxed about Victor doing things in his own time, at his own pace. Some milestones he's reached a little early, some he's reached bang on schedule, and others he's hit a little later than average. Naturally I keep an eye on things to make sure there are no extreme delays in development that might indicate a problem, but aside from that I've been happy for him to call the shots with the timing of these things.

But when it came to crawling, I gotta be honest with you, I was secretly hoping he'd put that particular milestone on the backburner for a bit and concentrate on developing other skills, like learning to do the ironing and mastering the perfect cup of tea.

You see I've had a taste of life with a mobile baby and man it's tiring. Little Vic has been inching around on his bottom, and rolling from one side of the lounge rug to the other for quite some time now. For weeks he's considered it a brilliant idea to push himself backwards under the armchairs and couch until he gets stuck. Picking him up and plonking him back into sitting position every few minutes has become part of daily life for me. So has picking up the trail of debris he leaves in his wake.

So yeah, being in charge of a rolling baby is exhausting enough, which means the idea of a crawling baby is downright frightening. Especially as I know he's had his eye on a few things around the house that he's eager to get his mitts on: the Sky decoder, a small top-heavy coffee table, a pile of magazines, power cables, the dog's tail and our recently renovated everything. At least with the rolling he's still been somewhat contained. I've been able to leave him alone for a minute or two and know that he can't go too far or get his hands on anything too precious or dangerous. But that's all about to change, isn't it? Because a crawling baby is one that needs to be watched like a hawk, damn it.

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You guys, I'm not ready for this! I've known he's been getting close to crawling for a few weeks, but I didn't think he'd get the hang of it quite so rapidly. I figured once he made those first few tentative crawling movements he'd spend another week or two mastering his new skill, giving me time to sit down with a box of donuts and make a plan for how I was going to deal with this new development.

But when he started crawling yesterday he got straight into it. He started slowly and carefully, and he didn't go far, but he was totally coordinated - none of that midway commando crawling or shuffling business for this kid. As soon as he figured out how to get up on his knees he was off like that fella in the Super Bowl yesterday, and it took him approximately 7.3 seconds to tear the lounge apart. And that's with him treading carefully - I hate to think of the damage he can do with a bit of crawling practice under his belt.

So friends, lay it on me, what am I in for now that little Vic is properly on the move? What tips do you have that might help me minimise the damage that's about to be inflicted on my home and my patience?

- © Fairfax NZ News

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