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Melissa Joan Hart on Her Funny Family Photo Shoot

11/17/2008 at 08:00 AM ET
Mark Sullivan/WireImage

After welcoming her second child — Braydon ‘Brady’ Hart — actress Melissa Joan Hart turned to a flexible diet and exercise routine to shed the extra pounds. In reality, however, Melissa shares that what keeps her in shape aren’t necessarily her trips to the gym, but rather her rambunctious boys, including her 2 ½-year-old son Mason Walter. "You don’t have time to eat because you’re chasing them all the time," says Melissa, who works her upper body by lifting "them in the car seat, out of the car seat, in the highchair, out of the highchair."

With her little monkey cutting teeth, the former Sabrina the Teenage Witch/Clarissa Explains It All star and her husband, Course of Nature rocker Mark Wilkerson, got a big laugh during their Christmas card photo shoot. Calling the incident "really bizarre, but cute," Melissa shares that while the family was ready to start snapping pictures, baby Brady, 8 months, had other plans in mind! "Because he’s teething he sticks his tongue out all the time. We took family photos yesterday for our Christmas card and he just kept sticking his tongue out," says Melissa. Although the couple are laughing about Brady’s loose tongue, the 32-year-old admits she is a bit worried that her youngest — who is "starting to stand and balance on his own" — seems to be trying to walk before he can crawl. "I’m a little concerned that he’s skipping the crawling stage because I hear that they’re not good readers if they don’t crawl," explains the actress.

Despite strange — but funny — baby moments and Brady’s attempts at crawling, Melissa and Mark are also dealing with some beginning bouts of jealousy with "great big brother" Mason.

"He’s just getting to the stage where he kicks [Brady] when he walks by him. But for the first eight months he’s been a dream."

Source: PEOPLE

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Showing 12 comments

lorelei on

What a beautiful family. I do identify with the jealousy thing though. My son was great with my daughter until she started touching his things. Fortunately this too passed.

Mama_C. on

Her “photo shoots” sound like mine with my two. My girls are 20 months apart and it’s constant madness!

I thought readers might have questions/comments about Melissa’s crawling-reading comment, so here’s the scoop:

It has to do with the Tonic Labrythine Reflex (TLR), one of those primitive reflexes that babies are born with. If it isn’t switched off by 8-9 months, it can mean neurodevelopmental problems, such as with crawling, and later with reading.

So it isn’t that a lack of crawling causes the reading problem; rather, the lack of crawling and the problem with reading are caused by the same problem — the continued presence of the TLR. But this is only one of many reasons why some children don’t crawl. Not every child who doesn’t crawl has an uninhibited TLR, and so not every child who doesn’t crawl will have problems reading.

Starla Jade on

“I’m a little concerned that he’s skipping the crawling stage because I hear that they’re not good readers if they don’t crawl,” explains the actress.

My sister skipped the crawling stage…because she was seriously dyslexic. From what I understand walking is actually easier than crawling and that is why dyslexic’s skip the crawling. NOT for certain, and I hope this isn’t the case for Brady. But then again… you would never know my sister is dyslexic now (she is 38!)

Kat on

I hope she’s just making sure she’s not missing other types of movement that are crawling.

some babies army crawl on arms and legs with belly touching floor) and simply skip traditional crawling.

other babies will go on hands and feet (I’ve even seen one do hands, one foot, and one knee… kid you not)

and still others will instead scoot on their bottoms (sometimes with hands helping, sometimes not).

But if she’s already gone through that list and he’s not moving other than pulling up and trying to start cruising, it’s something to get aggressive about.

take 10 min 2-3 times a day and work with him on his tummy using toys (put them out of his reach and encourage him to crawl to them) If no sign of improvement after a couple of weeks, I’d speak with the pediatrician about seeing a specialist for therapy.

Brandi on

Oh wow, I had no idea about this stuff! I’m glad Melissa brought it up. Thanks for explaining Mama, Starla and Kat.

Bethy on

I think I’m going through Mark Wilkerson withdrawals…haven’t seen a new pic of him with the boys on here lately. They have the cutest little boys, but it’s always fun to see Dad!

AnnaB on

Thanks for explaining about TLR, Mama_C., I’d never heard about it before.

Both me and my brother skipped the crawling stage and neither of us has any problems reading, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Though I guess it’s something to keep an eye on.

dee on

My brother skipped crawling and he is dyslexic. I never knew about the correlation though, I doubt my mom does either but my brother is 21 and in college now.

sarah on

crawling is also important for getting the spine into the proper shape. it also strengthens the muscles required to stand up and balance. often kids who walk before they crawl fall a lot more than children who crawled first. most children will get the balance eventually anyway. unfortunately i didnt…even now i have terrible balance.

Natt on

Our nephew skipped crawling, but has no problems reading – in fact has just passed his 11+ for the grammar school

But, he has serious muscle tone issues in his stomach, and very little balance. He litterally has to figit to sit still – if he doesnt he falls to one side. Hes had to have physio from a young age – apparently from walking too early without crawling.

My eldest was 9.5m before he crawled and quickly pulled himself up and started walking just after his 1st birthday. My second son is exactly the same age as Brady and shows no interest in crawling or pulling up yet ;-) He is quite happy to sit or lay on his tummy on the floor playing, or stand on ours laps for a bit – but I’m loving not having a mobile child yet!

I get jealousy issues with my two boys too (19m apart) – they are so loving to each other, but every now and then the hug turns into a smack, or a pinch. Its especially bad if Grandma is paying no 2 a little too much attention ;-)

CelebBabyLover on

Kat- Good point about alternate forms of crawling. My mother never crawled, nor did she do any of the alternate forms. Nope, she had to be different and instead of crawling, rolled to get where she wanted to go! :)

Mia on

I never crawled either. I just went straight into walking, and I never had any reading problems. In fact, I’ve always had very high comprehension skills/Reading Skills.

(I was a premie though-3 months/3 days early, and premies tend to develop some things really quicker than full term babies/vica versa..etc)

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