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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

The age of mobility

Friday, October 29, 2010

Jared Jernagan
On Tuesday at approximately 10 p.m., my 3-month-old officially entered the mobile age.

He isn't ruling the neighborhood on a big wheel -- yet. (Do they even make those things even more?) He isn't walking. He isn't crawling.

He can't even get up on all fours yet.

But he can now roll over. And back.

My wife and I were eating a late dinner because she had worked until 8 p.m., and then the baby got hungry just as our dinner was getting ready. Doesn't it always happen that way?

So, as my wife rounded the counter and half-wall, she froze. I quickly rounded the corner myself to see what was up.

There was our boy, frozen on edge, like he'd done many times in recent weeks. But this time it was different. He had thrown his legs forward, and it looked like the weight would carry him on over.

The only problem was, what to do with those arms. There was his right arm, pinned underneath him and in the way. And that all-important left arm -- if he would only throw it forward, it would be over. He'd be on his face.

Then it happened. Left arm forward, legs forward but not so far they acted as brakes.

And there were my wife and I, cheering and clapping, Nicole close to tears. To non-parents, it might have seemed an odd scene: the two of us laughing and clapping as our infant was face-down on the carpet in the middle of the living room.

However, for all those of you who've lived it, I'm sure it makes perfect sense.

He'd done it! He's on his way now. In the flurry of texts I sent, my brother's reply was that he'd be walking in no time. I'm sure he's right. Our sports editor's response was, verbatim:

BOOM! That's awesome. He'll be stealing money out of your wallet before you know it:)

I could only shake my head and hope he isn't right.

While I won't be placing my wallet under lock and key just yet, this newfound mobility opens up a new set of problems. Those things I listed above are will all be in play soon enough: up on all fours, crawling, walking, running, getting into cabinets, intrigued by electrical outlets, messing with Dad's stuff.

It's time to start taking precautions. No more leaving him laying on our bed or the couch. It's time to start using that belt to keep him from rolling over on the changing table.

Soon it will be: put him in the play pen while you're out of the room, cover all electrical outlets, get a gate for the kitchen, close doors we don't want him in and put down the toilet seat so he can't play in it.

Some new parents get carried away when a baby is born. They get all the safety supplies they'll need when the infant becomes a crawler or a toddler. Our approach was to not go overboard and concentrate more on stuff we needed to care for the event. Namely, we were concerned with having bunches of diapers, wipes and formula.

Of course, those are mostly gone now, so we need more of those and the safety supplies.

So I'm about to enter a world of stepping over gates, childproof (hopefully not Jared-proof) cabinets and drawers, locked up cleaning supplies and drool on the corners of my favorite books.

I don't want to think about it.

For right now, it's just a happy event, not a complicated one. My baby can roll over and I couldn't be happier about it. I'll sit back and enjoy the moment. Soon enough, I won't be able to sit back and relax at all.

Jared Jernagan is the assistant editor of the Banner Graphic. He can be reached at jjernagan@bannergraphic.com