Zach is crawling now! He’s been prepping for it for a while – rocking back and forth, putting his hands out in front of him, and reaching – but he’s been working really hard on it since a little before Christmas break. He started pushing up on his back legs while reaching until he sprawled out onto his belly. At this point he’d flail his legs around and get frustrated, but almost immediately would try again. Unlike his brother, Zach didn’t get discouraged when he couldn’t get moving. He’d get mad, but instead of giving up, he’d try again and again and again. His pace really accelerated around Christmas to the point where we thought he might be crawling by the end of our vacation, but he needed a bit more practice. He had that practice over the last few weeks and finally made movement on Saturday. At first it was just a step or two but by Monday he could move halfway across the room.
This is one of those occasions where it is really special that we have twins. It’s really neat to see the different ways the two boys accomplish the same thing. After watching Adam learn to crawl we had certain expectations as to how Zach would do it. We were right in some ways, but Zach still put his own twist on it. You’d think that having your brother crawling all over you would be an incentive to crawl, but not for Zach. At the time he had just mastered sitting up and he was perfectly fine with that. No amount of pressure was going to make him crawl any earlier then he wanted to. He was perfectly happy sitting in front of a pile of toys and inspecting them one by one. There was no need to race around the living room. Then he decided that it would be cool if he could move himself from place to place to inspect things on his own. That’s when the crawling effort began.
He started by reaching and stretching. That was enough for a little while because he could grab things that were just beyond his comfortable reach. When he needed extended reach, he’d flop onto his belly and wiggle his legs but he always put them up in the air so he didn’t go anywhere. This was different from Adam, who was able to get on his hands and knees but couldn’t seem to get his back legs moving. Zach’s legs moved fine, but he couldn’t get them under himself enough to move. So he pivoted. He combined turning around with just enough stretching to move slightly in one direction. It may have taken an hour, but he could eventually move four or five feet without help. Adam never pivoted. He learned to crawl backwards and eventually found a way to make it work in the other direction. Zach also learned to crawl backwards, but it didn’t do the same thing for him. Adam spent a great deal of time crawling backwards and getting stuck under things. Zach pivoted.
Zach’s crawl is definitely different than his brothers’. While Adam’s crawl was punctuated by a loud slap of each hand followed by a drag of a leg and a balance adjustment, Zach’s starts with a balancing act where he lifts one of his hands into the air and then lifts the opposite leg, balancing diagonally until he figures out how to move the rest of himself in a forward direction. It reminds me of watching a baby chick come out of an egg. Zach also has a different goal than Adam. Zach is currently only interested in crawling toward a goal object. Once he reaches his goal object, he sits with it and inspects it for a while. Adam’s goal is to go from place to place as fast as he can. He has a much shorter attention span than Zach and can’t be bothered with detailed inspection. Zach also gets lazy and if he spots something on the way that is just as interesting he’ll stop right there. It takes Zach far longer to move about a room.
It’s really cute to see the both of them crawling around together. Zach seems much relieved now that he can move on his own, so much that he would rather crawl than eat or go to bed. It’s nice that he still moves slowly and hasn’t shown any interest in the gates. It’s as if we only have one and a half crawlers to watch, which is a nice easy transition in to crawling chaos. I’m sure he’ll move faster and change his style as time goes on. He’s already trying to mimic Adam by pulling himself up on things. I’m not sure if he’ll spend as much time crawling as he did sitting up – Adam may have some competition on his hands for first walker.