March 23, 2010

Walking to a Crawl

It sometimes seems as if the boy has decided he has no interest whatsoever with the concept of crawling. Oh, sure, he was all excited when he figured out how to roll onto his stomach and back again, but at some point, I think the novelty wore off for him.

That's not to say he's given up on the concept of human locomotion, it's just that he often appears to think he can forego the step of crawling and graduate right on up to walking. Put him on his stomach (tummy time), and he'll usually fuss and complain and roll back on his back as soon as possible; but prop him in a standing position and he'll talk and sing and exhibit surprising balance for someone so young.

Plus, when he's lying on his back, he tends to kick his legs and drum his arms almost in unison, as if he's a member of some tiny, stationary marching band. Even though he seems to understand and possess the mechanics for crawling, he's much more enthusiastic about the mechanics of walking.

Personally, I blame his baby toys. I use the term "toys," but really, babies today are equipped with baby platforms. For example, our son loves his "Jumperoo," which is basically a miniature bungee-jumping system that can entertain a baby for up to and exceeding half-an-hour. When we first put our son in the Jumperoo, sometime around Christmas, he was perplexed, but he quickly learned to master the Jumperoo mechanics. Nowadays, when we place him in the device, he bounces endlessly in that toy like an astronaught bounding around on the moon.

He also has this baby platform we've taken to simply calling "the saucer toy." With this large, circular contraption, you place your baby in the center of a saucer round table that's equipped with all manner of interactive, and mind-clangingly-loud devices. Our son can rotate himself a full 360 degrees within the saucer toy, and it can keep him occupied for up to an hour at times. Watching him play within his saucer toy, it's not hard to imagine him making all sorts of split-second decisions at the console of a space-craft, or nuclear launch platform. I keep expecting to hear Capt. Picard's voice instruct me to "Engage."

All of these toys, however, prop my boy in a standing position, so I can sort of understand why he might build it up in his mind that walking is the logical next step. When we do "tummy time," we basically put him on a blanket and put interesting toys just out of reach to encourage him to roll onto his stomach. What fun is that compared to a Jumperoo or saucer toy? If I were six months old, and I was taken out of a Jumperoo and placed on the floor, I'd assume I was being punished for something.

So, crawling continues to elude my boy, and quite frankly he seems perfectly OK, almost happy, with that. As a Dad, I sometimes think he should be making more crawling progress, but then I watch him march in place on his back, singing and cooing and I'm forced to think "Well, he sure doesn't seem worried, so why should I be?"

Besides, once he does start crawling, I have to really start thinking about what to do about the cat door that leads to the basement stairs, and I frankly have no idea about that.

Posted by Ryan at March 23, 2010 11:47 AM | TrackBack
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