I never thought I would be one of those competitive mums or pushy parents. Each child develops at their own pace and I’m just not that fussed about what other people think. Or so I thought. Now Aurora is more vocal and mobile it’s hard not to exchange baby top trumps with fellow mums at baby and toddler groups. 

‘Is she (or sometimes ‘he’) crawling/walking/talking yet?’ is the usual opener with the mum next to you at Rhyme Time. Yes, I dress her in boy’s clothes occasionally but today she’s wearing a floral, fusia pink number with bows on!

‘She’s still not crawling yet? Oh, bless her’ said the brunette mummy looking pitifully at my nine and a half month old sitting still not able to move apart from to flap her arms in sync.  She looked in the direction of her seven month old crawling at the speed of lightning across the room before pulling herself up into brunette mummy's arms. ‘I really wish mine wasn’t on the move, she’s just into everything’ she beamed with pride. Usually I would feel happy for people such as brunette mummy but as a stay-at-home mum who teaches Aurora most of everything she knows, it’s hard not to compare and wonder if I'm completely missing a trick. 

‘I think mine will skip the crawling stage and go straight to walking’ I retorted, not at all envious of her child’s agility and flexibility, before watching Aurora lose balance from her seated position and face plant into the carpet. 

Sometimes I start doubting myself and my parenting abilities, usually late at night when I should be getting those precious hours sleep. My trail of thought usually flows as follows: How is brunette mummy’s baby crawling at seven months old? And she had loads of hair. Why isn’t Aurora crawling yet? She’s not even doing downward dog. And when is her hair going to start growing? I must spend more time showing her how to crawl tomorrow. Why is she only saying ‘da-da’ and ‘ba-ba’? Brunette mummy’s baby was saying at least five different sounds. Maybe it’s because we didn’t spend enough time reading books today. We'll read at least three books tomorrow between swimming and the swing park. Maybe it’s because she’s not getting enough green, leafy veg. Must remember to buy green, leafy veg. Why isn’t she pointing at things yet? Must remember to point at things more often. And so on and so forth until I’m dithering over the most ridiculous of things at 2am. Trust me, it gets even more ridiculous than remembering to point more often.

After spending hours and hours over a period of months unsuccessfully teaching Aurora how to move from sitting up on to her tummy in preparation for crawling she decided last Monday was the day. There was no downward dog and no trial runs. It was as if she had just decided that morning that she was ready! Surrounded by her five baby chums (all crawling, some almost walking), she took her first crawling step. She then teased me with it all day before launching into a crawl across the room in front of both me and my husband that evening. We were quite astounded. She was so nonchalant about it I had my suspicions she'd been secretly practicing when my back was turned and only showed us once she had mastered it. The next day the crawl evolved into a diagonal crab crawl; one leg crawling and the other out to the side; a half-crawl, half-walk. I thought it was just a phase but she’s been doing that ever since. It’s a very strange yet amusing sight! I couldn’t help but feel a little bit relieved. I hope brunette mummy is at Rhyme Time next week.