Mountain Family: Who needs crawling anyway? |

Mountain Family: Who needs crawling anyway?

Special to the DailyTamara Miller

Sometimes I just don’t think it’s going to happen for us. Sometimes, I just don’t think our daughter will ever crawl.

I recognize that it’s a bit early for me to make this declaration: she is only 8 months old, after all. But for months now, there has been little progress on the crawling thing. She can scoot on her butt backwards. She can pivot in circles and she can use her arms to push herself back into the corner of a room. But she won’t get on her knees, and more importantly, she won’t go forward.

A few things occur to me while watching her try to crawl. First of all, the phrase “going nowhere fast” must have been coined by the parents of a sqirmy, wiggly, noncrawling baby.

Secondly, I wonder if other parents are as schizophrenic as I am when trying to rationalize my child’s inability to conquer this skill. I can easily explain away my daughter’s lack of crawling as simply a product of her personality. She is an extremely happy, content baby who has an amazing ability to entertain herself for relatively long periods of time. When there is a toy in sight that is just out of reach, she’ll stretch, make a half-hearted attempt to lift herself up onto her knees and then simply give up, turn around and find something else to play with.

This must be a sign of higher intelligence.

Or a clear warning that my daughter has no motivation and will simply do the bare minimum to get by in life.

Whatever the excuse, I know that deep down, the reason I’m so concerned about her not crawling is because for months now, Ani’s skill set has rested firmly in the “Your baby may even be able to …” category in THE parenting bible, “What to Expect: The First Year.” But every month Ani doesn’t crawl, she is slipping firmly into the “Your baby probably is able to …” category and could quickly end up in the “Your baby should be able to …” category, which is just one category away from a place no one wants to be.

I’m ashamed to admit that I breathe a sigh of relief every time I talk to someone with a baby the same age or older who isn’t crawling. I reassure them when they worry by pointing out that some babies never crawl, some crawl later (and it’s no sign of intelligence or lack therof) and some just go straight to walking.

In the meantime, I make jokes about Ani’s refusal to crawl, the kind of uncomfortable, ha-ha kind of jokes people tell to deflect the fact that they really are worried about the thing they are joking about.

Whatever if she never learns to crawl? Or walk?

What if she never learns to talk?

We read to our daughter daily, give her plenty of regular tummy time and let her balance on our hands while standing on the tippy-toes of her feet. But I can’t imagine how this small, soft, precious baby will ever turn into a walking, talking, self-feeding kid, nevermind, a driving, back-talking, dating, mom-hating teenager.

And when I think of it that way, I’m perfectly content watching my daughter simply squirm around on the floor.

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