Watching a human infant develop and grow is remarkable.
Yesterday we lay on the carpet upstairs, and in the span of a few minutes Aili calmly, slowly, and with some effort, managed to roll herself from her back to her tummy – and then to her back – and then to her tummy again. It was all the same direction, so she actually traversed about three and a half feet!
My reaction to this is threefold:
Reaction #1: Pride.
That’s what all mommies and daddies feel when their babies do the smallest little thing. “OH MY G-D SHE MADE A SPIT BUBBLE!” “Honey, come look! She can scratch her ear!!!” Excited email to husband at work: “You won’t believe what JUST HAPPENED. She put her finger in the dog’s nose!”
Non-mommies and non-daddies don’t get it, but you’ll have to forgive us, we can’t help it.
Reaction #2: Uh oh. She’s moving.
That means I have to baby-proof and buy a gate for the top of the stairs. Fortunately, I have a bit of time left: it seems that her feet move more than her head does when she rolls, for some reason, so if she kept rolling she’d actually just go around in circles with her head in the middle. (That would be funny to see on a time-lapse video, no?)
The other fortunate thing is that so far – and who knows how long this will last – is that she seems to be sort of unaware that she’s rolling (a bit surprised that she’s flipped over, in fact) and is doing it only for the action, not for the ability to cross a room. I expect she’s not far away from figuring out that this new rolling talent can take her places.
Reaction#3: My little girl’s growing up!
She used to be such a curled up little blob. Now she grabs things, cries if someone else holds her, takes milk from a spoon, and rolls. I cannot believe how quickly this development happens.
Which got me to thinking: how does she know how to roll? How does she know it’s time to roll? Is it something she did once by accident, found it fun, and kept on going? How does she know any of the next steps? It’s remarkable, really, that all babies tend to develop the same skills in the same order around the same time, no matter how much you ignore or encourage them. There must be some sort of built-in instinctual development process they follow. It also *should* remove some of the parental pride that I mentioned above, but it doesn’t. Spit bubbles seem like a big thing when you’re a first time parent.