Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Mobile Baby is an Exhausting Baby

E.J. is nearly eight months old now, and has been purposefully on the move since he was a wee 5.5 months old. Let it be known that this was far earlier than I wanted him to be mobile; my days of being able to set him down in one place and have him stay there for at least a few moments were far too short.

It all started on December 21, when we saw our first purposeful forward movement, in pursuit of a ball.

VIDEO: And he's off!
***Click here to watch on YouTube***

So, he was on the move a little before Christmas, but I'd say he kicked things into high gear around the time of our January Disney trip, when we would give him some time to stretch out on the floor of our hotel living room. We'd set him down with a few toys and look away for a moment, only to look back and find him trapped under the coffee table or halfway across the floor in pursuit of whatever toys Ellie didn't want him to have.

By mid-to-late January, and about 6.5 months old, E.J. was comfortably making his way around the living room, leaving the nice, soft, padded foam mat we set up for him in his dust while he went off in search of his favorite thing to gnaw on: shoes.

VIDEO: E.J. creeping to Ellie's shoes
***Click here to watch on YouTube***

As you can see in the above video, his technique was still more "creeping" than crawling: pulling his body weight with his arms moving at the same time.

E.J. really perfected this method and soon was traveling around the house.

I don't think we're in the living room anymore, Toto.

His favorite destinations? Ellie's room, for some new and different toy experiences...

Well this looks fun.

Can you find the baby in this toy explosion?

...the dog bed...

Achilles is all, "Come get your puppy, woman."

...and of course, the classic baby favorite: the dog food dish.

Because kibble is totally delicious, but we're still boycotting banana.

For a while, he also had some trouble with getting himself stuck on the metal bars at the bottom of our coffee table:

How do you like my babyproofing technique of wrapping the bars with scarves? It looks just lovely, doesn't it?

But he quickly learned how to go up and over and now basically just treats them like a speed bump.

VIDEO: E.J. goes over the coffee table bars
***Click here to watch on YouTube***

All of this exploration has led to the creation and expansion of varying levels of "baby jail," including the Pack 'N Play in our living room for those times when I just have to leave E.J. unattended momentarily, and baby gates at the kitchen entrance (to eliminate the dog bowl problem) and front door (to keep him off the porch when we want to have the door open).

Ellie is taunting him with tales of life on the outside


In the last month, E.J. has continued to hone his craft and adapt his technique. His movements are less "creeping" now and far more "army crawl," in which he remains on his belly but moves his arms one-at-a-time and also uses his legs to help propel himself forward. He really gets some speed this way!

VIDEO: E.J.'s army crawl
***Click here to watch on YouTube***

I do wonder if this will be his final crawling technique. He certainly can get up on all fours:

He thinks he's fancy.

But I'm not sure what the incentive is to do an off-belly crawl when he is hardly inhibited by his army-style method. As you may recall, Ellie was quite an unconventional crawler (one-legged scoot crawl!), so maybe my kids just like to do things their own way.

Regardless of method, E.J.'s insistence on go-go-going, persistence and speed make him one exhausting baby to keep an eye on. And it's not only limited to our time at home, either! He keeps me on my toes when we're out and about, too, because if he sees an opportunity to move, he is going to grab it.

Here is E.J. heading for the exit during storytime

Crawling clear out of his pants at the museum

Making a getaway while Ellie shows off her latest craft

Ellie did not crawl this early. I know this for a fact, because we moved out of our teeny tiny Hoboken apartment when Ellie was just over eight months old, and I remember being relieved that we never had to figure out how to babyproof that crowded little home. My first memories of her really crawling are in the empty apartment after all our stuff had been cleared out by the movers. Up until the age of eight months, she was content to just sit on her soft foam mat (that's what it's meant for, E.J.) and play with her toys. I had hoped E.J. would be similar, because two mobile children is just a lot of mobile children, but alas, he had other plans. I'm mostly just chalking it up to the "every kid is different" line of thinking, but sometimes I wonder about other explanations: Boy v. Girl? Second Child (trying to keep up) v. Only Child (nowhere else to go)? It doesn't really matter, of course. All that matters is that he's on the move and helping me to increase my calories burned each day because PHEW, it's exhausting!

Heaven help me when the walking starts...

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