Saturday, August 30, 2008

Learning to Crawl

Smiley can almost crawl now. His learning to crawl has been fascinating to watch.

At four months he could hold his head and shoulders up in a Sphinx posture.

During his seventeenth week he was first able to support himself on his hands and knees and lift his tummy off the ground. But he could not hold this pose for more than a second, so photographing it was difficult.

His legs were plenty strong and he was good at holding a standing pose. But apparently the back muscles required to hold a crawling pose are different.

At nineteen weeks he could hold the crawling pose well enough to bring both his knees up under his hips at the same time. This nearly brought his body forward those inches, but he needed to get out of that compacted position. He lacked the coordination to move his hands forward but could fall over sideways to capture that small amount of forward progress. However, he usually kicked his legs out, relinquishing his potential advance.

The first time he was able to get across the floor to a goal was to touch the fringes on our end table. Here he is after once again having fallen sideways from the tucked-knees scrunch.

(Yes, it is not really and end table. It is a plastic box in which we keep our sacks of amaranth, quinoa, and millet.)

During this past week (Smiley's twentieth) he continued to work on crawling and developed more muscle strength but not any more coordination. This is fine with me; I am in no rush to be chasing after him.

He now works at crawling for about ten minutes at a time, going through three stages each time. First, he starts out enjoying the effort to move forward.

Since he is not successful at moving forward he gets frustrated and tired, but does not give up yet.

Finally he gets emotionally and physically worn out. He stops trying to crawl, and fussed from his "flying pose".

Then it is time to pick him up and give him hugs and attention.

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