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Fast Forward

Well, it’s happened; I’ve had my first “Sunrise, Sunset” moment.
She’s crawling.
A few days ago Maddie was playing happily on her bedroom floor as I put her clothes away.  I was half watching her play, half putting clothes away, and half looking about the room mentally babyproofing. (Everyone knows mommies do 150% all the time-)  One moment, Maddie was on her hands and knees doing the rocking thing, which she’s done for a good month now.  A bright pink swim bottom caught her eye a few feet away.  The next thing I know, Maddie’s chewing on said swim bottom.

At first, I couldn’t believe it and looked for another explanation.  Did she somehow turn herself around and parallel park her little hiney back to the swimsuit?  She’s done that before, but usually on her slippery alphabet mat, and it takes a bit of time.  I couldn’t have had my eye off her for that long.  Did she roll herself over there?  Again, not likely: the empty play space was pretty narrow and she’s not much of a rolling traveler.  That left bona fide crawling.
And it’s not as if she hasn’t had the desire to crawl for a while; you can see the physical longing in her eyes, the faraway vistas she sees herself traversing while she rocks back and forth on all fours.  Her squirm factor’s increased exponentially the past couple of weeks, and I’ve been secretly a bit thankful that she’s not crawling: all that energy put in motion would be an exhausting perpetual half-stooped chase scene.  She does the frog legs, attempting to propel herself forward.  She lifts one hand and puts it down, instinctively knowing the arms should be involved but unsure of just how.  She’s practiced the single-leg push-off, though it doesn’t usually find purchase and ends up sliding out from under her.  Brian and I have been helping her learn how all the parts fit together, giving her legs something to push against as she scrabbles to move forward, or putting her upraised arm down further away than she picked it up.  But somehow it all seemed like an academic exercise, a pursuit of knowledge for knowledge’s sake, rather than an actual skill that was being learned and would be imminently applied.
So now, we’re paying for all our encouraging words and coaching.  The kid’s mobile.  And just in case it had been a fluke, I moved that pink swim bottom all over her rug and watched her slowly but deliberately get to it four times in a row.  My daughter’s crawling, and there’s nothing to hold her back now.  Sure, it’s still sporadic, but a door’s been opened, and from here it’s only a short hop to walking, running, double-dutch jump-roping, roller skating, swimming . . .  the world is her oyster.
And if you think I didn’t cry watching her chase after that prize, you’re dead wrong.


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