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  • Writer's pictureRobyn


Updated: Feb 16, 2020

A critical question for an almost one year old.

The answer in this instance is to shuffle her wee butt around with daily increasing adeptness and speed.

The bumshuffle has to be the least energy efficient way of a human moving themselves around. Lifting all your body weight up in the air and then shoving it forward a couple of centimetres, pushing your legs out and then repeating, all whilst flapping your arms in the air - not a sensible way of propelling yourself about. But it is highly amusing to watch. Way, way funnier than crawling.

I occasionally catch myself thinking it would be amusing to have another baby. Not so much because I actually want another child (that would be an act of utter insanity), but because three is a really poor number in terms of it being a data set to draw any conclusions from. Added to which there's the two girls and one boy imbalance to further confuse the issue. The case here goes... Sally was a baby bumshuffler, I'm not sure she ever got to being as speedy as Cleo is now, but she bumbled about pretty well. She crawled about three times before clambering to her feet and shoving the vegetable rack around my parents kitchen as she learnt to walk. (You could tell she was the first grandchild as there was zero fuss about the missing rubber foot scratching their floor!) Then we had baby boy Pip. He was a crawler - I think he was desperate to move and keep up with his big sister so sped about the place and got into all sorts of funny corners on all fours before he eventually decided to get up and walk. Now the baby in question is a girl again and she's all about the bumshuffle. Is it a boy/girl thing? Obviously it can't be a universal boy/girl thing, but in this house it seems to be emergent pattern - but without any further data points to enter I can't say for sure.

Whilst it does look like rather a lot of effort to bumshuffle around, there do seem to be some things in its favour. If you crawl you have to hold your head in a very awkward position in order to see where you're going, or else pause and sit down periodically to check you're not going to crash into things - a bumshuffler is always upright and as a bonus can collect all manner of goodies in their little mitts as they make their way around the house. Oh, and such joy, such joy in bumbling up and down the corridors!

It is fun watching Cleo get more confident and move around the house more. A couple of weeks ago she was just moving around the room you put her in as well as putting a concerted effort in to trying to crawl. But it seems she decided it wasn't worth the effort and doubled down on her bumshuffle decision and worked out how to speed shuffle with less of an upward movement and more forwards, forwards, forwards! So now, the moment you put her down, she's off towards the door - which as long as its ajar, she will open before sailing out into the corridor and taking herself off around the house in pursuit of adventure. Fortunately for me, this bumshuffling choice is significantly more effective in the downstairs, uncarpeted regions - for the moment, upstairs she's happy playing with toys and not making a beeline for the stairs. For the moment - I'm not so naive as to expect it to last for long.

These two are pretty sweet together. (photos were taken on a Thursday when Sally was at school

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