C is for Crawling Baby Climbing Toddler
There are a number of motherhood ‘C’s I could write about, but I’m going for Crawling baby Climbing toddler because of its pertinence in our lives at the moment.
‘Is s/he crawling yet’, is one of the many questions parents answer over and over again in the second half of their child’s first year. It is a key baby movement milestone that many (family, friends, and well wishers) ensure parents look out for, with their consistent enquiry about it. 🙂
I remember listening to lots of stories about how people’s babies, nieces, or siblings crawled; imagine my surprise at learning that there are different crawling styles! Did you know babies crawl in different ways?
I can’t actually remember when Precious Sparkle started crawling but I remember getting somewhat anxious about it with every, ‘has he started’ crawling question. This was another, ‘motherhood o dear‘ for me; I didn’t know how it would work with the space we have in our house. So to allay my safety concerns with his increasing ability to move, I started using a spare travel cot as a play pen. I also allowed him to move around on the floor of our church’s meeting rooms whenever we were there.
I remember one particular afternoon at church in September last year, when I met up with other mums for a Bible study. Precious Sparkle seemed really eager for me to put him on the floor, and I obliged. I was surprised by his seemingly quick ‘dash for freedom’ away from me. I remember wondering if that was a crawl, given that he propelled himself forward with only one knee on the ground; he moved on his feet with his other leg.
It was a happy moment to see him grow that bit more in his independence, a sad moment to see that he needed me that bit less, and a cue to create more movement space for him at home.
During this stage, he crawled in a way that showed his eagerness to walk and even run; he really couldn’t wait to do more than crawl!
In the last week or so, I have observed him with a smile on my face, ‘properly’ crawling for short distances with both knees on the ground. 🙂 I seriously wonder if he is aware that he didn’t crawl like this during his crawling stage.
Climbing baby and toddler: Climbing up
I don’t know how babies know they can and should increasingly move but I’ve learnt that they need opportunities to explore in order to grow.
No one asked me if Precious Sparkle had started climbing and I never thought of it; Imagine my surprise when he started climbing. It was during the service on a Sunday morning when he was about 8 months; I carried him out of the meeting room because he was getting restless. I put him down at the bottom of the staircase and that’s where it began. He put his two hands on the second stair, and then lifted one knee after the other on the stair before. I contained my amazement as I watched him repeat these actions, and I followed closely behind just in case he lost his balance. He occasionally turned around to look at me, and perhaps assure me he was enjoying himself. 🙂
I have wondered many times about when he actually developed the ability to climb. ‘Would he have been able to climb’ those stairs If I had given him the chance earlier?’ O well, I’ll never know. However, this experience taught me to be mindful about giving him opportunities to grow.
Climbing baby and toddler: Climbing down
His stair climbing inclinations has increased with each passing day and we have learnt to relax our nerves with each climbing instance. We don’t follow so closely behind anymore and are now exploring how to teach him to climb down. He seemed oblivious to the dangers of going downwards at the beginning of his climbing adventure. He recognised that he needed a different support structure to go down the stairs but he didn’t show much awareness of what was safe to do. In fact, it seemed that he would have moved downwards at the edge of the top stair if he hadn’t been stopped.
His awareness that he needs a different climbing system has grown with the months. He has sometimes expressed frustration at not being able to figure something out, and he has (thankfully) been increasingly hesitant to move downwards beyond the edge of any stair. 🙂 More and more, he has indicated when he wants help to get down, and has indeed refused help when offered on some occasions.
In the last week however, I have decided to start teaching him how to climb downwards. I turn him with his back to the bottom of the stairs, put his hands on the stair before him, and then move one of his leg to the stair below. He usually moves his second leg downwards after this, and we repeat the process again. My husband and I laugh and clap each time he goes down a stair to encourage him; and he seems really excited by this.
I never knew that climbing up and down the stairs could take such level of thinking.
I never knew that climbing could give rise to so many emotions.
I never knew that someone had to be taught to climb down stairs.
I never knew that someone could enjoy climbing up and down the stairs.
I never knew that I could write so many words about crawling and climbing!
I don’t know how long it will take Precious Sparkle to learn how to climb backwards.
I do however know that I am very excited to be on this journey with our Precious Sparkle. Indeed, I count it a privilege to support him as he engages with all that life entails, including learning to climb down stairs.
What is the most peculiar thing you’ve climbed or had to learn to climb down from?
My April 2015 #AtoZChallenge
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