It finally happened. Weeks of waiting; on edge with suspense; practically biting my nails (if I had any to bite); my unwavering gazes towards my daughter expectantly… she crawled. And I missed it! Twice! Perhaps “unwavering” was a little inaccurate, although I did look away for only a moment each time.
I do, however, have eye-witnesses who can attest to each occurrence: 1) my wife and son, 2) my wife and mother. With each occurrence my wife called for my attention only for me to turn and find my daughter on her belly.
We knew it was coming and had been waiting for some time. Her flailing arms became more coordinated. Random swats turned into purposeful grabs. Rolling over was now intentional and she could sit-up for periods unassisted before falling over. Then the sitting-up turned into targeted falling on her hands and knees for a shaky moment before collapsing to her tummy.
Then, a few weeks ago, my four-year-old son—eager to teach his baby sister—began demonstrating various ways of crawling and scooting on his hands and knees. It was as if he threw down the gauntlet. Our daughter, the sponge, watched awe-struck and soaked in his every movement. The next two weeks were like watching an infant version of Rocky. She seemingly dedicated herself to a strict exercise regime:
- Pushups – rolling over was for newborns, this infant would push up her whole body for multiple reps, resting only briefly in-between.
- Lunges – once her push-ups became like second nature, she would follow-up with pulling her knees under as if to crawl, rock to and fro, and then lunge her whole body forward, reaching for her target.
- Army crawl – with her lunge and reaching mastered, she worked on technique, pulling and shuffling across the floor in an army crawl.
Leading into this past weekend, her routine consisted of all the above maneuvers. We were on pins and needles each time she pushed up into a crawl position. One little hand and knee would shift forward. And as we’d anticipate the same movement from her other side, she’d collapse taking with her our hopes of a first official crawl. That is, until Saturday; and then again Monday; when I missed it each time. Ah, but patience has its virtues. And the silver-lining to this story is that my accomplished daughter has now demonstrated her skill for daddy this morning. Thank you Maia!