Monday, August 29, 2005

Sittin' pretty

First, there was neck control. Then, there was rolling over. Now, we have mastered sitting up. Yes, indeedy, my child, at 7 ½ months of age, is now able to sit up unassisted fairly well. I know that for everyone else’s savant children, this happened at 6, 5, maybe even 4 months old, but allow me my celebrations where I can take them, okay?

In other Gross Motor Skill news, I suspect that earlier today he also managed to get up on all fours, but I can’t be sure it wasn’t a fluke. I mean, he can get his knees up underneath himself with great dexterity (which would make him one step closer to mobility if he could crawl on his face), and he has been doing these girly-push-up arm-calisthenic-things for months, but putting the whole hands-and-knees bit together has proved to be somewhat beyond his considerable abilities for right now.

Which is fine with me, because I cannot tell you how much I enjoy the whole Sitting Baby Effect. It just makes things so much more interesting for all of us. For us, it means a dramatic decrease in screeching, since he can sit and play with things for several minutes without being frustrated by the annoyances that plagued him when he was tummy-bound, like having to constantly work his biceps like some meathead from the gym just to get a visual read on the cats. For him, it’s like his whole field of vision just increased by about 300%. Plus he can now use both hands to fiddle with a toy or grab for something. Evidently, being able to approach the world two-handed is not to be underestimated: I expect him to announce any day now that texture is the theme for Fall 2005, as he has finally discovered that carpet feels different from sand which feels different from grass which, inexplicably, feels different from the cats’ sisal scratching post. I wore a silk skirt the other day, and he couldn’t get over how it felt. He kept rubbing his hands all over it—it was kind of like being at the movies with a frisky (if somewhat small-handed) date.

The only bad thing about the Sitting Baby Effect is that it sometimes evaporates for no known reason. Today we were shopping (and by shopping, I mean “sitting in front of the full-length mirror in the store while other people shopped around us”) and I don’t know if he was just jazzed by the sight of the cute baby in the glass, but he kept listing to one side and was so distracted that he’d forget to catch himself and just kind of keel over. Ah, narcissism, you’ve foiled us again. He also tends to bobble if he’s really tired and naturally, falling over is much more traumatic when one is tired. Most of the time, if he does crash, we can play it off by saying “What? No, no, you’ve been just laying there on your back the whole time.” And he’ll kind of look sheepishly at us like “Well, yeah, right. I knew that. I was just seeing if you were paying attention.” But when he’s tired, falling over is akin to losing a limb in a combine accident or something: there’s wailing, there’s sobbing, there’s gnashing of teeth.

But for right now, simply sitting is a wonderful thing—not least because it hasn’t yet been accompanied by the lust for mobility. I don’t know if this is because most things in his world come to him (us, the cats, his toys) or what, but I for one do not long for the days where he will decide getting across the floor is of supreme importance. I just want him to be able to hang on to the contemplative act of Just Sitting a bit longer.