Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Modes Of Transportation
For a long time, Wolf didn’t make haste to start crawling. Instead he kept extending his action radius by bending his body further and further to grab things, up to the point where he would be seated with his legs stretched forward and his nose touching the ground.
His first attempt to move was the ‘bum hop’. It didn’t get him far, it was just enough to bridge those final few millimetres between his finger tips and the toy/forbidden item he wanted to grab.
Then he discovered the ‘bum shuffle’, moving around seated while making swimming motions with one leg at a time to get forward. He perfected his technique at the day-care, because the wall-to-wall carpet in our living room provided too much friction. But then he mastered even that, and there was no stopping him any more. Soon he reconnoitred through the dining room and into the forbidden territory of the kitchen. His wanderings had a bonus to it, because he cleaned the floors at the same time. Although it did get a specific part of his clothes very dirty. Together with his irresistible urge to steal the other kids’ toys and pacifiers at the day-care centre, he earned the nickname ‘Blackbum The Pirate’.
For a long time, he was quite happy with this somewhat inefficient way of moving about. He did lift his bum from time to time when he set off, and tantalizingly stretched his one leg back as if he was going to crawl, but then he would revert to the bum shuffle. When we would set him on hands and knees, he immediately let himself fall on his belly. But then finally, he took to crawling in a matter of days.
Now there’s no holding back to him. He races from one end of the house to the other, and beyond if you don’t watch him. One minute his opening the cupboard doors (‘No Wolf!’), the next he’s tampering with the stereo installation (‘Wolf bad!’) or trying to crawl through the cat flap (‘Get away from there, you’ll get your fingers stuck!’).
The cats don’t know what’s happening to them. No more naps in the sunlight while the baby’s babbling just a couple of feet away. Terror can strike at any time now. He means well (Aaaaaye puh! Aaaaye puh!) but the difference between caressing and whacking a cat are subtle and cat tails are just irresistible. Macka, our tiger-striped cat, takes better to this harassment than Snijeg, the white one. He often allows Wolf to caress/molest him and even comes over by himself to get a pat/whack. Snijeg on the other hand has started his own one-cat underground movement and keeps the largest distance possible between himself and the Crawling Monster of Drool. We have to grab him by the neck and force him on the ground when Wolf insists on stroking/plucking him.
And neither parents nor cats will get any rest in the future, because our little boy has already learned to stand up on his own while holding on to a table or chair. We’ll have to stack our valuables one shelve up again.