03 7 / 2012
Crawl of Duty: Mortal Wombat
Anyone got any cotton wool? I need enough to cover… *makes complex mental calculations*… uh, EVERYTHING. After spending 10 and a half months happily sat on his arse or lying prostrate on his back (not the front, never the front), Albert has finally decided it’s time to give forward motion a try. His initial attempts at crawling were predictably pathetic (lunge, faceplant, cry, repeat). Then, for a brief spell he tried dragging his body across the floor using just his hands in a wounded soldier fashion. But now, after cracking the magic ‘two hands, two knees’ combination, he is scampering about the place like a highly-caffeinated wombat.
Unlike a wombat however, Albert is not merely content with life on the ground. No, he wants to climb stuff too. Like the pot stand and the oven and that electrical cord hanging down from the ironing board. What could go wrong?
As any parent will tell you, having a child can be a series of incredibly complicated challenges. Which is why I’ve tried to pare back my responsibilities to one fundamental task: keep the baby alive. So far this has mostly involved remembering to feed the baby at periodic intervals and keeping the baby’s top end out of the water while I wash the baby’s bottom end. Relatively straightforward stuff, I will concede, but it’s harder than it sounds. This latest development, however, has made my job nigh on impossible. One part of me is proud that he’s learning new skills and building his confidence (if he gets a few bumps and bruises in the process, then so be it) but the other part of me just wants to ‘keep the baby alive’. I want him to reach for the stars, just so long as those stars don’t have any sharp points. And they’re not too high up. Or hot to touch.
Suffice to say I now spend my days following Albert around on my haunches, arms outstretched like a wicket keeper trying to steer him to safety through the power of my mind alone. And when it comes to finding sharp corners he’s like a highly trained sniffer dog expertly hunting down cocaine – if the sniffer dog were to then immediately gorge itself on said cocaine before suffering a massive, fatal brain aneurysm. If you’re thinking of buying a house and you’re a bit worried it could be a potential death trap, I am willing to rent my baby to you. If it’s got a faulty electrical socket he will find it. If the cellar door doesn’t close properly he will find it. If there’s a family of giant, plague-ridden rats nesting in the asbestos roof insulation he will find it.
So far, Albert has managed to drop a slate tile on his hand, trap his fingers in a drawer, eat a garden snail (shell and all), repeatedly smack his face on the glass coffee table and most horrifically of all, pull a lamp off a shelf onto his head. The lamp shattered but thankfully no blood was shed. This last dalliance with death, however, was the final straw for me, so my wife and I spent the next few days babyproofing the house. This mostly involved attaching child-catches to the cupboards, putting covers on electrical sockets and moving heavy objects out of reach. Predictably Albert then found a spare child-catch lying on the floor and tried to choke himself with it. It seems at least one of us is bound for an early grave.