Sunday, November 27, 2005

Sippy cups, walkers and other developmental leaps

Awhile ago, Dutch over at Sweet Juniper suggested that babies might have more developmental breakthroughs when they are off of their normal routines, and I’m starting to agree—the Boy Wonder made a number of strides when my mother was here in October, and this past week while we were in the Carolinas for Thanksgiving, he seemed to learn a new trick almost every day.

For instance, he learned to manipulate a walker—you know, those contraptions that were insanely popular in the 70s and 80s but which waned a bit when kids were left in them unsupervised and took headers down the stairs? I was led to believe these things were the pinnacle of the evil neglectomatics, but man, he had the time of his life playing a version of kiddie Demolition Derby. It also gave him the security to stand unassisted, which he only does while he’s distracted by something else—once he realizes he’s standing out there with no support, he must feel like his cheese is in the wind, because he grabs on to whatever’s closest and looks at you like “Whew! That was a CLOSE one!”

He also had a sippy cup breakthrough. I am not a fan of sippy cups—too many of my friends had to keep a closer eye on their sippy cup collections than most people keep on their checking account balance because at age 7 their kid still couldn’t drink from a regular cup, but jeez, Davis has been working on the whole real-cup-drinking action for almost 5 months now and STILL manages to have a choking, face-pinkening, gagging session at almost every meal. So we tried the sippy cup from time to time, but all he would do is bite it. Of course my mother figured out what to do to teach him and now he appears to actually be drinking more water than he’s inhaling, which is new.

He also started clapping, which he now does often, especially while we’re preparing his food. I can’t tell if he’s trying to encourage me, kind of a “great job, mama, good effort,” or if it’s more of a “Miss? Garçon? Who is in charge here?” kind of thing, but it’s cute as heck, so who cares? He is still working on incorporating his new waving abilities into daily life, but this has plateaued as we have been unable to convince him that he does not, in fact, have to be in his playpen in order to wave. He seems to think that waving is only permissible from this specific location, so we are at something of an impasse for now.

Oh, and one final item from the "the true developemental milestones are not mentioned in the baby books" category: I think D may be learning how to blow his nose. Now, he's not as much of a pain in the neck when he's got a runny nose as some children are because he thinks the blub-syringe snot sucker thing is pretty funny and is quite patient with us when we have to use it, but Mother Theresa, how great would it be if he could blow his nose instead? Woo hoo! So stay tuned...