When we visited our family in Virginia Beach, we got a great chance to see how Savannah, Jonah’s cousin, progressed in her crawling and exploring and such. Sunday and I like to see her as a type of “crystal ball,” showing us where Jonah will be shortly. (Savannah’s a few weeks older than Jonah). During our visit, Savannah motored around, taking a look at the tops of tables, the insides of magazine racks, and the undersides of dogs. As we watched Savannah crawling away from any type of geographic limitation, both Sunday and I thought, “Maybe no one will notice if we Velcro Jonah wherever he sits.”
It’s not easy to admit, but we enjoyed Jonah’s immobile status. We thought of Jonah as yet another piece of luggage we could set beside the couch when we visited relatives. Sure, he ate more than the average set of luggage, but we couldn’t fit many pairs of pants in him.
When we left the beach, we didn’t think his crawling would come as soon as it did. We thought we had about a week or two before Jonah would begin galloping around the room. We didn’t tell our “luggage” our plans and he began his little journey without us.
As is our routine, I am in charge of feeding and caring for Jonah during the mornings while Sunday goes to work. The week after we returned from the beach, I was up one morning, going through my regular routine of squeezing in great works of literature between feedings, diaper changes, and puke cleanings. I put Jonah where I could see him and he could see me and I sprinkled toys around his little cuerpo. I put my work boots—the same boots that had traveled through cattle lots and church sanctuaries alike—near the wall across the room from where Jonah was sitting.
I looked down at my book, read a few pages, and then looked up to see Jonah tasting my boot. Now most would think, “EEEWWW!!! GROSS!!! He put his mouth on your dirty boot!” Before he began crawling, I would have agreed with you. Now that he has access to the entire floor of our apartment, however, I am relieved when my old work boots are the only things he has put his mouth on.
Since he’s mobile, we have been asked, “Have you ‘baby-proofed’ the apartment?” Well, no. In fact, we’ve adjusted our lives, post-locomotion, by cleaning the apartment the way we should have been cleaning it all along. We now pick up our bags, our books and our boots.
To accommodate Jonah’s newfound mobility, we have scattered his toys like chickenfeed around the living room so that he can go from toy to toy, buffet-style, until he is entertained.
When he’s not tasting stray toys or shoes, he’s following us from room to room, often yelling at us when we go out of view. Soon after he became comfortable crawling, I was there taking care of him, and I heard “nature call.” I quickly moved to the restroom—as is my custom—and I began my business.
Well, my requirements were not to Jonah’s liking. If it were up to him, I don’t think going to the restroom would be allowed. It’d be like taking long road trips with our parents, but for life.
Anyway, there I was, in the bathroom. But from Jonah’s floor-level vantage point, I had just disappeared forever down the hall. He galloped his chubby knees down the hall to investigate. When he discovered that I still existed, he quickly became interested in the bath mat.
We stared there, gunfighter style, both knowing that Jonah was going to gallop over to that bath mat and put his mouth on it. (Now you wish we were back at the boots, don’t you?)
I had a decision to make: do I ignore my own bathroom needs and recognize the necessity of my son’s well-being? Jonah didn’t give me too much time to contemplate this dilemma, because he was moving toward the bath mat. I acted fast. I snatched him by the scruff of his extra-cute outfit and put him in the hall.
As I was flushing the toilet, I thought, “I am the super Dad of the year! I averted certain disaster by not allowing my son to snack on the bath mat! All Hail ME!!!!” As I was washing my hands, I heard Jonah fall into the bathroom trash can.