Friday, November 30, 2007

Becoming Mobile

I've spent the last 2 months watching Jackson learn to crawl. I had expected him to first learn to push up on his hands and knees, then rock back and forth, then start to take crawling steps. I didn't expect it to be such a journey.
He's always had good head control and ability to push up. For the first 4 months, Jackson was able to push up on his hands higher and higher. Around 4 months, he started to push up onto his hands and knees. He would keep pushing on his arms, which caused him to slide backward. Since he was interesting in reaching something in front of him, this resulted in anger and grunting and grumbling, sometimes yelling in frustration. Around this time, he also learned to pull up on the sides of his crib--something I was not ready to see happen yet.
Since the hands and knees thing wasn't propelling Jackson forward, he went for a change. He started pushing with his toes. Since his hands weren't moving, he would push up on his hands and feet, into a little yoga downward facing dog. He spent a lot of time in the downward facing dog. From there, he would tip his bum down and to the side, making a 1/4 turn into a sitting position. Once seated, he then either sits and plays, or gets into another downward facing dog and makes another turn.
I wondered for a while whether he would crawl on his hands and knees, or his hands and feet.
The downward facing dogs became more and more frequent. Jackson wakes in the night and sometimes turns downward facing dog pirouettes until he settles back into bed. Sometimes he starts right into the pirouettes instead of going to sleep.
At 6 months, Jackson took his first crawling hand steps. He would take one or two handsteps, then fall down on his belly, rest, and get back up for a couple more. Using this method, Jackson could travel 5 or 6 feet. This was an intense and laborious process. He usually incorporates a few downward facing dog pirouettes just to mix it up. Once he reaches his goal destination, he pirouettes into a seated position and then huffs and puffs like an exhausted runner.
Monday, I left Jackson playing in his room and walked around the corner to do some laundry. After a few minutes, he crawled out of the room, turned the corner, and sat down in front of the dryer to watch me.
Today, he's crawing pretty well. He can travel across the room and sit down. There's little huffing or puffing.

New Trick!!

A few days ago, I put some pieces of food on Jackson's high chair tray while he was eating to see if he could pick them up and feed himself. He managed to pick up a couple of pieces with his little fists. He wasn't able to let go of the food and put it in his mouth, though.
Today, we tried again. He first pushed the food bit (turkey) around with his little pointer finger. Then, he picked it up with his forefinger and thumb (pincer grasp, folks! pincer grasp!) and put it right between his lips and ate it!! He tried again and again with more turkey and varying degrees of success. Some of the food went into his mouth. Some food was pushed around and around on the tray. Sometimes, he could pick up the food with either his finger and thumb, or his whole fist, but he had trouble letting go when he got it to his mouth. There were pieces that he had so close with his finger and thumb and his aim was off, so the food was above his mouth, and he couldn't grab it with his lips or let his grip on the food go. He ended up with a whole lapfull of turkey.
Once, he picked up 2 pieces and deposited both of them neatly in his mouth!
Bigger and better things are to come.

It's incredible how excited I get as a parent over accomplishments that are so commonplace and unremarkable in my adult life. There's a lot of chatter lately about the babies world view and how for them, everything is new and exciting. Suppositions that the adult cannot comprehend how exciting the babies world is. Maybe the wonder, fascination, and excitement we parents feel watching our children accomplish such commonplace tasks is a little taste of the infants entire experience.