Ten-and-a-half-month-old Jaqueline Ferrer was a winner, but you would have never known from the fat tears running down her face.
The Schaumburg baby won the first heat of Diaper Derby, a crawling competition for the 12-month-and-under crowd Saturday afternoon in the center court of Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg.
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Jaqueline's father, Michael, quickly scooped her up in his arms as she crawled 20 feet across the finish line. He felt bad for her discomfort but was also proud of her win, he said.
"She probably didn't know what was going on, and she probably couldn't see me (at the finish)," he said.
The competition, Woodfield's first, pitted mostly clueless babies against each other, as kids and adults gathered all around cheered and laughed at some of the adorably uncompetitive behavior on display.
Ten-month-old Maximus Skillom of Downers Grove just hung out at the start line, lying on his belly and checking out the crowd.
He seemed quite astonished when his 8-month-old competitor Liam Guignon of Elgin suddenly crawled over and planted two juicy kisses on his cheek.
"(Maximus) was clueless," said his brother Christian, 14.
Liam is just a friendly baby, said his grandpa, Frank Guignon of McHenry, who bemoaned that his camera died halfway through Liam's winning crawl in the second heat. "He's a really lovable guy; he smiles a lot," he said.
Jennifer Miranda of Chicago had high hopes for her 9-month-old son Henry, who's been zipping around the house on all fours.
But alas, after a great start, Henry seemed to lose steam. He ended up spending the next five minutes mostly sitting on his bottom, occasionally staring intently at the ceiling.
"I think he got distracted by all the people and the lights," Miranda said. "But we're always proud of him, no matter what."