It seemed to me that I spent much of the first few months willing BG to be able to sit up, to be able to crawl, to take those all important first steps… now, 19 months in, sometimes I can’t help but wish she was still the immovable potato she was before she mastered movement.
BG first crawled properly (albeit just for a few seconds) on 11th August. She had been commando crawling around for a couple of months prior to this but commando crawling was a fairly slow process and meant she was easier to catch. Once she mastered the art of crawling she was off… there was no stopping her. We soon realised how baby “unfriendly” our house was. We had a sudden need to elevate everything a least 2 feet off the floor out of BG’s way/grip – not least the cat food!
Fast forward a couple of months and she was cruising around the furniture. If she could pull herself up on it, she was standing. On 1st October she used her walker for the first time unaided and started tazzing about the place, there were lots of crashes and collisions, a particularly memorable one resulted in forehead vs. fireplace… arguably, the fireplace came off worse and still has a dent in it to this day.
Fast forward a couple of weeks and she still wasn’t walking unaided, preferring to cruise using furniture. We met up with the mini-guides from @guidebookbaby along with Mrs Guidebook. We’re both teachers and it was half term so we ventured out to a softplay to attempt to have a coffee and a catch up in relative peace whilst the twins and BG played happily within our line of sight. The mini-guides are a little older than BG (a few weeks) but had been walking for a couple of months by this point. Not content to be contained by any barriers, they were walking – no, sorry, running – around the place having a whale of time. BG was her usual self and observed the behaviour, taking in the strategies and methods like she does with so many things. It was as if someone turned on the “walking” switch in her mind because that was it. At 12 months and 20 days she started walking… and she’s not stopped since.
Progressing from crawler/cruiser to toddler is a massive achievement for a small human. It is a proud moment for a parent too, watching their child develop. It is also fraught with new nightmares. There is danger literally EVERYWHERE. Things at head height. Things to fall on. Things to dive head first into. It really is a nightmare.
At 19 months of age, BG has more or less mastered movement. She is on the go all the time. She only has two modes – on or off. Nothing quite prepares you for how terrifying this stage is for a mum. It’s almost as if your senses become heightened to a new level, a new sensory plane. You develop an ability to see hazards absolutely everywhere and you feel as though you are fueled by adrenaline caused by your fight or flight system kicking in. I found the first few months of “toddling” some of the most stressful months known to man. There were a couple of family functions that required a “Strategic Headband” due to bumps and bruises on the forehead following a furniture-related collision. I think after the 76,543rd trip/bump I started to relax a little more. I say relax, that’s probably too strong… it was probably more of a level of acceptance.
Once I’d started to relax in to the mastery of movement, BG then throws “working-out door handles” into the mix and short of putting locks on all of the doors I’m not sure how to cope with this new ability! At the moment, she has only worked out the one door… lets hope it stays that way. Don’t even get me started on the climbing… that’s a whole new nightmare of its own!
Thankfully, BG will still tolerate going in the buggy which means we can at least get where we’re going at a decent speed. I am not looking forward to the day where she refuses to be chauffeured anywhere and simply just has to self-propel at all times. I suppose the bonus side of that future venture would be that she would tire herself out quicker and therefore sleep more… right?
Anyone else sometimes wish to go back to the potatoey-lump days pre-movement? Even for just an hour?