Archives for February 2010

Things that go THUD in the night

Well, my little darlings, it’s been a while since I’ve written, and your growth and maturing rapidly continues. You were already crawling before, but you are both getting better at it. Lucas, you still move your legs together, essentially taking more of an inch-worm approach to crawling. Every once in a while, you use your legs cross-wise to your arms, but you get going so fast as to push yourself forward onto your face.

Anna, you just recently got the hang of cross-body coordination, so your crawling is closer to the “traditional” approach at this point, and you are picking up speed. You also started sitting up all on your own recently. You basically figured out how to make yourself into a little tripod with your legs, and often you will play with things in the seated position. You are getting better at bringing yourself to your feet by holding onto things, though it does not seem to have anywhere near the draw for you that it does for your brother.

Lucas, despite still using old-school crawling, you are almost impossible to keep down on the ground now. No matter what is in reach, you want to climb up on it – either to get on top of it, or to use it as a tool for standing up. You also started “walking” while holding onto furniture. We have a long straight shelf in front of the fireplace, and more than once you have managed to stand up along side of it, “walk” your way to the other end, only to find yourself stuck with nowhere to go. A few days ago, you would start to scream, apparently not knowing how to get down from the standing position. Lately, however, you have started experimenting with two methods of descent. The first (more effective) is to bend one knee and gently fall to your hands. The second (more frequent) is to just let yourself fall. When you do it to your side, you seam fine, but when you do it to your back, of course, you THUD a bit more than mama or I like to hear.

Of course, speaking of thuds, we also learned recently that a) we have to lower your mattresses within your cribs, and b) we have to remember to raise the walls before putting you to bed. A few days ago, Lucas, I put you in your crib, turned around, and you were standing up against the rail. I gasped at the site, fearing that you might pull yourself up and over or fall out. Last night, I got home from work rather late, the two of you were already asleep, and I was exhausted. Then this morning, I got up and mama handed you to me to change. While you were on the changing table, we heard a THUD from the other room. Anna, I figured you were just banging yourself up against the crib walls again, like you are want to do. However, mama went in to look, only to discover that you had indeed managed to get out of your crib!

OK, that’s technically the nice way of putting it. Even though neither one of us actually saw it, surely you must have fallen. However, you were not crying or upset in the slightest. That’s when mama remembered a story about one of your cousins who somehow managed to knock over a small ladder onto his arm. His parents were not sure if he was badly hurt because he was not that upset. Finally, they did decide to have him looked at, only to discover that he had a broken arm. So even though you were quite calm, and even crawling at moderate speed when we put you back on the ground, we were both quite worried. So I looked you over carefully, essentially giving you what EMT’s call a “secondary survey” by pushing and palpating you all over, checking for anything out of the ordinary. But you still seamed just fine. Mama and I, on the other hand, were quite worried not just for your safety, but that we could be so forgetful as to leave your crib wall down!

As it is, we have already had to raise the level of baby-proofing another few feet in the last week or so on account of both of your greater mobility and standing up. Now, it turns out, we have to make your cribs more baby-proof as well.

Raise the Barricade!

As a result of your increasing mobility, we have had to get another baby-gate to keep you from straying where we don’t want you to go. We already have a very long gate in the living room that keeps you from an unprotected table, two lamps, and one of the exits. When you were slower-moving, we could afford to leave the room long enough to use the bathroom and you would still be in there when we came back, even if you had managed to move. Now, however, you can traverse the living room in about 10 seconds, and if we turn our back, you start making your way to the kitchen, which leads to a hallway and stairs. Bottom line, we needed to start corralling you two to a larger degree.

Lucas, with you in particular, it also matters how we place this new gate up within a door-frame. You see, on one side it is smooth plastic. On the other side is a bar used to expand and colappse the thing. We need to make sure that we put the bar on the side away from you, otherwise you only end up using it like the rung on a ladder. So while it may slow you down just a wee bit, it fails to serve its intended purpose unless we pay greater attention.

Also, not long ago, a friend of mine bought two stuffed animals for you. One is a highly flexible spotted leopard, and the other is a more rigid seated lion. With the leopard in particular, I can hold it on the floor with you two and move it around to make it play, and of course I make it “talk” to you. The amazing thing watching you two is that by all accounts, you really have no clue that it’s a stuffed animal. I suppose that should hardly come as a surprise at this point. I mean, in the most literal sense of the word, you still don’t know your ear from your elbow just yet, but it’s still fascinating to watch how the two of you will interact with it, crawling from across the room to play with it when I bring it to life with a little motion.

In some ways, watching you interact with the animal reminds me of a show I used to watch when I was a small child called Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. He had all manner of characters and creatures that he would play with, and I do actually remember thinking that those creatures were real when I was little. While I have no idea exactly when I learned otherwise, you two innocent children are still in that blissful stage of life when absolutely anything that you can imagine is real to you.

At some point, of course, you will lose that. But for the time being, perhaps, maybe it’s not you who needs to grow up as much as it is me and all the other adults around me who need to remember what it was like to have that much creative power at our disposal. You still possess the power to make absolutely anything real merely by imagining it so. What an awesome thing it would be if we all remembered how to do that today.

Little miss one-sock

Because the two of you are mobile, often are the times when you will end up on opposite sides of the room.  The coolest thing for me is when have been gone for a while, and then I come into the room with you two.  I can now lie down on the floor in the middle of the room, and the two of you start scooting your little bodies to me with big smiles on your faces.  Lucas, you like climbing on my face, while Anna has this thing for socks.

It’s really quite comical, Anna.  We have the hardest time keeping socks on your feet, but for some reason, you usually only take off one sock.  We haven’t been keeping track of which one, so we’re not sure if you’re making some kind of early fashion statement, or if it’s a byproduct of coordination.  However, you don’t stop with your own socks.  If we’re not watching closely, you will take of Lucas’ socks too (both of them).  And when I’m on the floor with you, my socks are not completely safe either, except that your tinny little fingers tickle my feet too much for me to really keep still, and my socks are just so much bigger that I usually manage to keep them on my feet.