For more than a month now, Maddie’s mom and dad have been very serious about tummy time for the baby. Every chance we get, she is perched on her elbows so she can show us her feats of strength!
However, three things constantly threaten to derail tummy time. The first problem is that Maddie obviously prefers to be on her back (less work you know) So, what better way is there to circumvent tummy time than by rolling over on to your back? Being on your back is less work and the rolling over part is kind of entertaining.
Once we could watch the baby frolic on her stomach from across the room. Now we have sit there with her so she doesn’t suddenly decide roll over and start chillaxing on her back.
Problem #2 is that Maddie is stuck with too many honey badger genes to move forward. During the Honey Badger video, the narrator says, “Oh look, it runs backwards.” Well that’s the problem.
For weeks now, Maddie efforts to crawl forward have been very unsuccessful. For some reason, those crazy legs start churning and the baby starts shuffling backwards. Motivation isn’t really the problem, it’s something in her mechanics. The more she struggles to inch forward, the faster she starts motoring straight back.
Problem #3 is Maddie’s morbid fascination with labels. That’s right, those little white tags on the back of shirts or in this case, the tags attached to the tummy time mats. Maddie will do one of those Three Stooges 360 degree maneuvers on her side so she can sample the Labels Du Jour. The more labels the better.
I have yet to taste any yet, but according to Maddie, they are to die for. I have even contemplated tearing the labels off of various items, but why would I rob my daughter of such wonderful times. She will jam three labels into her mouth in an unsuccessful bid to eat them. When you pull her away from them, she cops an attitude and wants to know why you are forsaking her friends.
All in all, tummy time really isn’t going that badly. It’s just another example of how Maddie can complicate a simple exercise, but make it look terribly fun and entertaining at the same time.
An Australian woman created the Dunstan Baby Language DVD because she claims to have cracked the code of understanding baby language. I have to admit, I was very skeptical when my wife and I sat down to watch the show. However, I picked up a tip for Maddie that I will always be grateful for.
According to this Australian woman, our baby falls into something called the “WINDY” category. She says the best way to deal with that condition is by placing the baby on her stomach when she’s not feeling well. I was very reluctant to try this as a soothing mechanism for Maddie because it seems like it would be very uncomfortable.
However, the next time Maddie seemed out of sorts with stomach issues, I decided to take a shot and go for the recommended impromptu tummy time. Maddie started to cry almost immediately and five long seconds ticked by before I decided that this female Croc Hunter had her facts mixed up and had obviously gone Walkabout. I was just about to reach for Maddie, when she suddenly took a quick look around and decided that this tummy thing was pretty nice after all. OYE – No rules just right!
Since that time, I have continued to put Maddie on her stomach and every day she seems to like it more and more. This isn’t the typical tummy time where you try to strengthen the baby’s neck muscles, it’s more of a relaxation device for the baby which triggers the exodus of explosive and troublesome gas wherever it might be hiding.
This afternoon, Maddie took things one-step further when she decided that this precarious tummy position was not only a great gas reliever, but it was also a good place to catch a nap. You can’t be serious!
Warning, this is not a position you want to be stuck in for an extended period of time, but for the sake of the baby, no pain, no gain. Just make sure to keep a hand on the baby at all times, they can be slippery little suckers.
Tummy time mats, rain forest swings and wild jungle adventure settings with flashing lights – all tricks of the trade designed to entertain and keep the baby dialed in. Each device works pretty well at various times during the day.
Some items keep Maddie’s attention for about five minutes while others work for more than a half hour. Of course sometimes they just don’t work at all. But there is one system that is completely foolproof.
It’s known simply as the bathroom floor. The set up consists of folded up towels, one for Maddie’s head and the other for her body. I lay her down on the towels when PaPa needs to shave and for some reason – she loves it.
I don’t know if its the noise from the fan, the bathroom lighting, the running water or a combination of all three – but she could not be more entertained once I lay her down. She laughs, kicks and delights as her eyes shift around the room. She also loves to check out the shower curtain which is layered with cartoon monkeys and bananas.
It’s hard to know what it is that strikes her fancy, but Maddie is always pleased to help out her Dad when it’s time to shave.
Other parents often comment on how small children will often enjoy the wrapping paper or the box much more than the present that was on the inside. Now this theory is really starting to take shape as we begin the long journey of trying to discover what it is that makes Maddie tick.