Monday, August 16, 2010

The Bobble-Headed Monstrosity

The Frog has just passed his 8-week milestone.  Currently he's sleeping in his basket at my feet.  To get him in that state has taken about 1.5 hours of soothing speech, humming the Gilligan's Island and A-Team theme songs, giving up and picking up and rocking while playing ABBA's greatest hits.  I'm currently listening to 'Super Trooper' for the 3rd time, but each time I try to turn the music off, little grunts and twitches start up.  Am I raising a boy who'll be keen for sequins and feather boas when he grows up?

Moving on, I thought I'd review where we're up to with developmental milestones at this point.

Physically, the Frog is slowly gaining strength in his neck.  I have made it my policy - after seeing so many much younger babies with far superior neck control - to be a little less anxious about supporting the Frog's head at all times.  I pick him up under his arms when I get him out of his cot or basket, and apart from curling up like a pill-bug, he doesn't appear to object to this treatment. I still fail when it comes to giving him enough tummy time - I should be turning him over much more, but I just seem to run out of time between feeding, and cleaning, and preparing the next round of bottles, and doing general housework, and going for walks just to get some sanity time etc.  So, he's still a bit of a bobble-head when I sit him upright in my arms.  He does try to keep his head upright - but it's like watching a top start to wobble at the end of its spin: starts with some small dips front, back, around and around .. which become more and more exaggerated as his neck muscles decide to call it quits for the day.  I tend to take pity on him before he looks like he's going to give himself whiplash.

One of his favourite tricks is to wait until I'm gripping him single-handed while I fumble with the other hand for a door handle (or whatever), and then try to throw his head back. It has to be quick work on my part to catch him when he decides on one of these manoeuvres.  In fact, it's much safer - though less comfortable for all involved - to just tuck the blighter under my arm during these moments.  Would at least save me a few cardiac arrhythmias.

Arms and legs are still jerking about a bit spastically.  I assume that he's gradually gaining some control over them, but it's hard to tell.  We stick him in his little jungle-gym from time to time, and while it seems like he's actually batting at some of the toys hanging above him, I'm inclined to feel that much of this is just down to how he's been placed under them at the time. He also has a tendency to straighten his arms and swing them up and down vigorously.  The problem with this is that on the far end of the upswing is his face, which he clobbers with a fair degree of force.  He must wonder what he's done to earn such a walloping.  When he gets tired, the arm-swinging gets more frequent, which makes it very hard for him to get to sleep: "I'm trying! But these pink things keep thumping me in the eyeballs!".  So we resort to wrapping quite a bit.

The Frog is able to track people across a room.  He likes to fixate on one person, and it's often hard to distract his attention.  For example, during bathtime, while Daddy is the one holding the Frog when he's in the water, and I'm the one armed with the wash-cloth, the Frog tends to fixate on me, and go for continuous eye-contact during the whole process.  I'm not sure why.  Is he begging me for release?  He seems to quite enjoy his baths, so I don't think that's it.  His Daddy tried him on a game of peekaboo, and apparently elicited a smile.  I also tried this a little bit today, and got a sort of smile the first time, but I don't think he's got a sense of permanence yet - so when I hide behind something, he's quick to look away - because obviously I've just disappeared - he doesn't much care where to.

It's hard to tell much about the Frog's personality at this point.  He seems to like being around people - it's easier to get him to go to sleep in his basket in company than it is to get him sleeping in his quiet room.   I don't know if he doesn't like his room because he's lonely there, or because of some deep-seated biological concern about the beasts that could be lurking in the long savannah grass, ready to eat him up.  I've checked under his cot, and while there *is* a lion there, it has a tag on it that says 'machine washable', so I think he's probably safe from predators for the moment.

Anyway, I could write more, but from the whimpers and splutters coming from the basket, the Kraken appears to be stirring.  Till next time.

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