Emma Dalton-Brown, Contributor
At nine months old, our son is taking off on all fours. He has no respect for my need to sit still and type this article, and even less respect for the furniture around him. How dare he, really! On the bright side, he is keeping our floors very clean. All I need to do now, is put soap and water on the front of his shirt, and I can dispense with the mops in my house! We might get a visit from child services though!
On a serious note, my husband and I can no longer rely on the fact that only safe toys are within the grasp of the little man's hands. My eyes are scanning the living room we are in now, whilst I think to myself: "What objects are detachable, or small enough to fit into the baby's mouth? Okay, all clear. Oh dear, but he's trying to pull himself up, so what can he bring down on top of him? A fair amount."
My paediatrician has told me what I feared was the inevitable. We have to start using some safety measures. Plug holes need to be covered; lower cupboards must be latched; bathroom doors closed so that he does not try to get into the toilet; cleaning products moved out of his reach; and the list goes on. This advice should not be taken lightly. The other day, our boy was in his exersaucer in the kitchen. (An exersaucer is a stationary play centre which is also called 'baby activity centre', 'baby play saucer' and 'stationary play circle'). I turned my back for a couple seconds, and all of a sudden there was a crashing sound. He had pulled my loaf pans off the bottom shelf of the stainless steel table that rests in the centre of the room. Fortunately, he was not hurt, and instead started to laugh hysterically.
To think that there we were a couple months ago, proud that he could just about drag himself six inches across the bed and pick up his toys. Who told us to speak! Sure, it's all part of his development, and we ought to be grateful that he's right on schedule, but until I have organised myself to do work using voice recognition on my laptop, can I just freeze time for one hour today? Perhaps another hour tomorrow, too?
Let's get back to the scampering our infants do on hands and knees. We have wooden floors at home, and if you rub your hands and feet the wrong way along them, splinters are sure to pierce your skin. It's only a matter of time before our son's limbs become scarred with scrapes and scratches! I think I need to invest in kids' knee pads (www.babyearth.com/silikids-silipads-baby-kneepads.html).
A friend of mine has a one-year-old boy who dons a pair of knee pads. They have captured my attention for some weeks. If she turns her back, I cannot be held responsible if they go missing! Let's hope she is not reading this! If she is, I shall deny their disappear-ance, and tell her I bought mine in a shop on the other side of the island.
The fascinating thing is how far and quickly infants, who don't yet walk, are able to move. Have you parents tried to go any distance without being upright? I have. Whether you attempt to cross the hallway on hands and knees, or on your belly, playing creepy-crawly is no easy feat.
We have wooden floors at home, and if you rub your hands and feet the wrong way along them, splinters are sure to pierce your skin. It's only a matter of time before our son's limbs become scarred with scrapes and scratches!