I'm realizing just what a role motion plays in our lives.
When we first brought my daughter home, she didn't move all that much. The occasional stretching, yes, but not more. Soon, she began to flail a little bit. Then she got more playful. The more she moved, the more work it was to take care of her...but the more fun she got.
The books (quite rightfully) tell you that children need to play on their own...so as much as I wanted to just hold her, go gaga over her, and talk to her in a voice which, it has been said, resembles that of Fozzy Bear, I started to occasionally set her down...where she would flail a little, but on the ground instead of in my arms. The books also warned we would need to have her play on her stomach, so I would do "TummyTime" with her...but in the beginning, her neck wasn't strong enough to hold her head up for more than a moment, so she hated it and would scream about twenty seconds in.
Eventually, she got more strength, but she still didn't care for TummyTime. One day, I put her down for TummyTime, and she flailed just enough to flip herself over on her back. It was a nice milestone, so I recorded it and sent the YouTube link to my working spouse. It led to much celebration. And interestingly enough, once she was able to flip herself over, she then loved being on her stomach.
Pretty soon, my girl realized she could flip herself over repeatedly as a form of locomotion. At first, it was just short trips from one toy to another. Shortly, however, she started rolling over the house. One afternoon, she rolled from the living room, down the hall, and into her bedroom, where she lay on her back, kicking her cabinets, a cute as hell grin on her face.
She got very adept at the rolling thing. My mother-in-law informed me that as a kid, my spouse used to roll all over the place...so I started to wonder if the desire to roll was genetic. I then found out my spouse never actually crawled. She just rolled right up until she could pull herself up...then she started running. I wondered if my girl would be the same.
A few weeks ago, my daughter began to crawl. Not a proper crawl, mind you, but more of a military crawl. One friend saw the military crawl video and joked that my girl needed a mini AK-47 strapped to her back. It would, to be sure, complete the image. She also goes at the military crawl with real gusto and speed. She throws everything she has into moving for about seven feet, before she has to stop and catch her breath in long pants.
The crawling is the most fun of all the motions to this point. Not only is it amusing for being such a weird crawl, my girl is also very loud when she crawls. She grunts, groans, and generally makes a racket...but has this weird grin on her face while doing so. Stealthy she is not. Hilarious? Absolutely.
It has also changed my duties. Instead of just setting her down and going about my business, I now have to immediately close the bedroom door, put up the baby fence in the kitchen doorway, close the shoe closet, and generally prep the house. Where I used to be able to stay at my desk as she rolled from one end of the living room to the other, I now have to be in total Sylvia awareness mode...because she can sneak into the bathroom or her room in an awful hurry. Rather than just talking to her or playing with her, I now have to be on electrical cord watch...because my girl apparently has a burning desire to electrocute herself by eating cables.
More work? Sure, but it's really fun work. My girl is quite hilarious as she moves. She's quite sure of where she wants to be, what she wants to play with. She's become so much more interactive.
There's been a lot of things which have surprised me about being a father. The biggest surprise, though, was how much fun my kid would be.