Witnessing your baby growing up and hitting milestones can be bittersweet, for any parent. On one hand, you're happy to see them thrive, but on the other, you're sad to see them growing up so damn fast. Crawling is definitely ones of those big, bittersweet milestones. It marks the beginning of your baby's ability to be more independent, while also making it painfully obvious that a baby on the move means a mom who is on the move, too. The thoughts every new mom has when her kids crawls for the first time range from exciting to terrifying, and usually cover everything in between. I've experienced it twice and, honestly, it never gets any easier.
When my first son started crawling, I was elated, but was quickly reminded that his newfound mobility was also going to peak a remarkable sense of curiosity. I mean, I was in trouble, you guys. It didn't take long to realize that living with an infant is way easier than living with a mobile infant/soon-to-be toddler. Babies on the move get into everything, and my boys seemed to be especially exploratory.
Realizing that your baby isn't a baby anymore is a hard pill to swallow. No matter how excited I was to see my sons reach their milestones, that excitement was countered by a knot in my throat that wouldn't allow me to even speak the words out loud: my babies were growing up. Fast. A lot of thoughts raced through my mind during my sons' first uncoordinated crawling sprees, and as the following will reveal, I had some conflicting feelings.
"Yay! They Did It!"
My son wobbled and rolled his way towards everything he wanted for a while. It was adorable, like watching a tiny drunken sloth try to make its way across the room. When he finally turned those wobbles and rolls into actual crawling, I couldn't help but to be proud.
"This Is The Literally The Cutest Thing I've Ever Seen"
Seriously though, babies on the move are the cutest. I may or may not have just stared at my son for the rest of the day after he figured out how to crawl.
"My Baby Is A Genius"
My first son started crawling earlier than expected. I know that every child meets their milestones at different times, and that some babies never crawl, but rather just go straight to walking, but I was convinced that my son's crawling was a clear indication of his brilliance, and I was certain that I was the parent of a gifted child.
"Now He Can Go Get His Own Toys Instead Of Yelling"
My son always wanted to be wherever I was. I was flattered, sure, but I wasn't super thrilled with having to carry him everywhere I went while I was trying to get work done around the house. Once he started crawling, I couldn't help but feel excited, because I thought that meant that I would regain some of my freedom. I did, well, sort of. Though I didn't have to carry him everywhere, he still followed me everywhere, and got frustrated when I was moving too fast that he couldn't keep up.
"Wait, He Can Also Get To Everything Else In The House Now"
Ah, yes, when reality strikes, it's sobering.
"Should I Bubble Wrap The Walls?"
Suddenly, when your baby becomes mobile, what you thought was once a cozy and safe residence starts to feel more like a baby death trap. So, basically bubble wrapping the entire house from top to bottom is the only reasonable thing to do.
"Aw, Look At Him Go"
Once my son got the hang of his new skill, he took off. I'm pretty sure he was racing his own shadow, but his speed was impressive nonetheless.
"This Is Actually Sort Of Terrifying"
Suddenly, I realized that my son could now get into everything. I never realized how many outlets or knives or corners we had in our house until my baby started crawling towards them to check them out. It's terrifying.
"Why Are There So Many Tiny Items On The Floor?"
Seriously though! Where did all of these tiny items that my kid could consume come from? I'm going to be honest, I'm fairly certain that my son ate a few bites of dog food once he learned how to crawl. I'll take the blame for that one, but in my defense, no one goes into parenthood fearing the potential hazards of dog food.
"He's Like A Baby Swiffer"
I seriously considered putting some Swiffer pads on my son's knees so that he'd dust the floors as he made his way around the house. I didn't, but it was certainly tempting.
"Well, I Guess I Have To Get Rid Of Everything In The House"
The only logical thing to do when you have a house filled with things that could be considered dangerous to your child, is to just sell and/or burn everything you own in the name of safety. That is, unless you bubble wrapped everything like I recommended.
"He's Growing Up Way Too Fast"
Ugh, seeing my boys on the move was such a bittersweet feeling. I was thrilled that they were meeting milestones, that they were happy and healthy and thriving, but they were also morphing into full blown toddlers with attitudes and unreasonable demands, right before my eyes. As I watched each of them crawl around our house, I couldn't help but feel like time was robbing me of far too many precious moments with my boys. Sure, they were just crawling, but after crawling comes walking and talking and running and driving and college, and before you know it, there's going to be another little human walking around calling me grandma. Too soon, kid. Too soon.