Thursday, May 13, 2010

Movement On Movement

NJ turns 9 months old this weekend, and she's marking the occasion with a multi-day Wrigglepalooza leading up to the big day. Until recently she hadn't shown any interest in crawling, something that's both perplexed me ("Crawl to the toy! You'll never make the Supreme Court at age 30 if you don't step it up!") and relieved me ("Let's avoid childproofing and chasing her around as long as possible.").

Her peers are figuratively all over the place -- one 10-month-old we know has been crawling for months now, and a couple of other 10-month-olds still haven't bothered with it. The crawler can really book, too; she's crawled rings around NJ a couple of times, leaving NJ grabbing air as she moves past.

Over the past few days, though, NJ has become a lot more mobile. And a lot more interested in being mobile, which may be a distinction without a difference, but still. Three weeks ago, let's say, when NJ found herself on her belly she'd fuss for a moment, then look around, then decide to lay there with her thumb in her mouth before rolling over onto her back. Two weeks ago, for some reason she decided that rolling over immediately was the way to go. A week ago, there some leg action and, instead of immediate thumb-sucking, she's lift her torso up off the floor for a few seconds with her chubby baby arms. And the last couple of days, there's been an obvious escalation in the progression. Now the legs are churning, she lifts herself higher, and when she's laying flat she turns herself around using her arms. She does 360s on her tummy, basically, and occasionally inches forward a little bit before sliding back to her original position. It's fun to watch.

Pretty soon, that knee is going to dig into the carpet and she will pull herself forward until the other knee sticks. Then, Katie had better bar that door we're always hearing about. Or, maybe tomorrow she'll just crawl across the basement floor and stand up at the washing machine, out of the blue. Her most recent milestone is clapping, which she did for the first time yesterday. And it came completely out of nowhere. We clap with her a lot, and she had held our hands when we clapped, but she never showed an interest. Then, yesterday morning The Wife came to drag my butt out of bed and she sat NJ down next to me. NJ sat up and slowly, surely, and very happily clapped her hands together several times. Ever since, we've clapped our hands red trying to get her to do it some more (because it's beyond adorable to watch), but she does it on her own time, when she feels like it. Which is as it should be. (I hate it when the "CLAP!" message comes up on the baseball park scoreboard.) This evening when The Wife walked into the house, NJ smiled big and clapped and, well, it was so sweet and touching it should be an insurance commercial.

Now, even when I sit her at her play tunnel (photo above), she's interested in the toys that are far away from her, not the ones within arm's reach. And sleeping? I have no idea what this kid is doing when she sleeps. We put her smack in the middle of her crib, and for a long time we'd find her in the morning or after a nap in almost exactly the same position. For the past couple of weeks, though, when we go in for her we see a lot of this sideways stuff:

Seriously, who's that cheery when they wake up? Don't worry, kid, life will beat that happiness and childlike wonder out of you eventually.
And yesterday, I went to get her after an afternoon nap and came upon this:

I thought I saw a quarter over here.
Now, she obviously rolled over onto her stomach, and then rolled over again up against the railing there. But how did she get from the middle of the mattress to the corner? If it was a trick -- sorry, NJ, an illusion -- surely I would have heard The Final Countdown.

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