Editor’s Note: We’d like to take this opportunity to wish all of our readers a very happy new year – may 2013 bring you all that you hope and dream for and beyond! After a brief holiday reprieve, we are excited to launch into the new year with our team of talented guest blog contributors to offer some of the best content around that will keep you tuned onto to our site and sharing it with other parents too. Maybe you’ll even feel the urge to leave a comment or two once in a while. Below is a guest post by NYC Dads Group member Ian Barnes, aka Mr. Baby Daddy, where he expresses his concern because despite constant coaching and cheerleading, his daughter still won’t crawl. While we realize each baby is different and they each progress and develop at their own pace, feel free to pitch in a few suggestions. – L.S.
Matilda laughs in the center of the rug, bouncing on her butt. Her smile has a power to it, a radiation of joy that infects the entire room. She sees her mother walk through the front door and emits a sort of seal-bark of excitement. She gasps and tips herself toward the door and her waiting mother, cheered on by both of us to take that first step, or crawl or (what is the verb here?)
No dice. She pulls herself forward for a moment, threatening to tip into a crawl but then falls back onto her hiney and bounces again, giggling.
What is the proper balance to strike between super-aggrodoucebag daddy screaming at the t-ball coach and laissez-faire bordering on neglect daddy? I mean I want to encourage her without pushing too hard. What’s a daddy to do?
Matilda is a happy girl. But a teacher at day-care (who so obviously loves her) says in her soft Chinese accent with a big praising smile on her face as she hands her to me at the end of the day, “She happy, but she lazy.”
In swim class, there is an exercise, called monkey arms, where the child learns to hold onto the side of the pool. Matilda has no interest in gripping the wall. Other parents pull their hands back as their little monkeys cling to the wall in a survival instinct while my sweet girl pushes away and has even been dunked up to her nose a few times. What’s a daddy to do?
She rolls, she bounces, she even has started to do baby push-ups. But she just won’t crawl. In fact she is much more interested in wheeling around the apartment in her DJ Baby Walker blaring “Dinah won’t you blow your horn” than she is in being on her belly at all.
I roll onto my back, as happy as I can be right where she is too.
*A version of this blog entry is cross-posted on Ian’s site Mr. BabyDaddy as well.
Bio: Ian Richard Barnes lives in Manhattan with his wife and daughter, Matilda. An actor and writer, he tries to write for a few hours a day while Matilda is having fun at day care and his wife is busy master-of-the-universe-ing. He blogs about the adventures of dad as the primary caregiver at http://www.mrbabydaddy.com.