Gone are the days when Keith and I spent the majority of our time moving Finn from place to place in attempts to keep him entertained and stimulated. Now HE’S the one entertaining US and keeping US moving after HIM. It’s almost insane how only a couple of months ago, Finn had to get around using his skillful rolling techniques, and NOW he’s darting across rooms on all fours with ease and — just in the past week — balancing independently on his own two feet! The best part for me is that rather than just falling over after a couple of seconds, he’s learned to skillfully lower himself down to the ground. Here he is getting a kick out of his new skills after our last music class. Of course, as the laws of the universe seem to dictate, I only captured the shorter episode on camera:
My friend Lisa, who was with us at the time, saw him and said, “Uh oh — it’s only a matter of time now. When he’s walking, you’ll be in big trouble then!” Hmm — I thought we were in trouble already, as evidenced by our recent baby accidents.
What I’m worried about MOST, however, isn’t what Finn’s developing walking skills will allow him to get his hands on; it’s what they may mean for his neurological development. A few months ago, when Finn started cruising around before he crawled, my mom said, “Make sure he learns how to crawl if you want him to be a good reader.” I thought it was an odd statement, to say the least… but then I did some research online and discovered that there really is a long-standing conversation out there about how crawling provides “cross lateral movement [that] enables the brain to cross the mid-section (going from the right side of your body, across the center to the other side).” This “crossing of the midline” is apparently important for the kind of neurological development necessary for types of organizational learning such as reading and writing. Well, we were relieved to see Finn start to crawl, but it wasn’t exactly your traditional hand-knee-hand-knee motion! Finn’s alateral peg-leg shuffle worried me enough that I raised the issue with my pediatrician, who dismissed my concerns quickly, assuring me that I had nothing to worry about. Still, I’ve come across various articles that try to connect a previous lack of cross-crawling with poor reading skills as well as others that tout the benefits of learning through types of physical movement that promote a crossing of the midline, such dancing, music, and sign-language. Then last week I enjoyed an interesting discussion at becoming-mom.net that dealt with the importance of physical play for young children. At the end of the discussion, author Ariana provided a link to an article that discusses the intellectual benefits of knitting, an activity which, among many other things, establishes “laterality” and “stimulate[s] cellular development of the brain.” This, of course, got me thinking about the midline again — and about how, rather than developing a neat cross-crawl, Finn has transitioned from peg-leg scramble into smooth scooting territory:
Ultimately, I only have so much control over how he crawls and when he walks; I believe that most of this is determined by genetics, anyway. Still, a new mom MUST have something to worry about, mustn’t she?