Hey kiddo. A word to the wise. You may think you’re all proficient at this feeding thing or like you can change it up whenever you feel like it but I’m telling you, the thumb in the mouth at the same time as the nipple, it just doesn’t work. You “suck” and you don’t get what you want. Take that as you will. I’m just saying. Also quit with the pinching thing. Now you’ve got nails and strength so that whole grab and squeeze thing…not so comfortable. Just like the gimme gimme gimme with the mouth at the same time as the pushing away with the arm. I’m not meant to stretch like that. Yes I’m picky and full of rules but they’re for your own good little lady. And mine.
So there were a number of notable things this week. Firstly, you rolled over. Almost by yourself. Even though you were over twelve weeks old, we went to a local Mother’s Group on Monday because I wanted to hear the Occupational Therapist who was scheduled to talk about movement and play for infants. I had you on the floor for most of the group and when you weren’t busy trying to show everyone how chatty you can be, you were throwing your head back and your legs from side to side and you were so close to rolling over – if it weren’t for that pesky arm.
Towards the end of the group, the OT was talking about that major milestone of rolling over and asked if you would like to be a model. She had been watching you try and try again so she got you on the floor and showed us how to help you out. She let you throw your legs over and anchored your hip with one hand whilst she used her other to move a toy around your head encouraging you to reach for it until…you flipped over! At which point everyone clapped and you looked quite shocked. You weren’t sure what was going on at that point.
So I got some handy points from the OT. I also got a dose of parental guilt. Or paranoia. At first because I asked about tickling…You don’t laugh. I mean you did…one time…but in general, you don’t. You smile at us, usually because we have been grinning at you like an idiot or making fools of ourselves in front of you. I wasn’t sure if there was a time that you might respond to tickling though because I gathered that laughing was as much a social response as one based on sensation. The OT said that children will always model what they see and when they see enough of something to be comfortable, joining in will go from there.
Wonderful. My first thought was “are you saying I don’t smile at my child enough?”. My next thought was “are you saying that I am enabling and or engendering feelings of insecurity?!?”. Am I being a crap mum? Am I not stimulating you enough? Am I over stimulating you?…And then I got to feel guilty all over again when we talked about standing and walking. In the OT’s professional opinion, people shouldn’t use Jolly Jumpers (you’ve been in one) as they don’t speed up development and can be detrimental. She said it was best to let you progress at your own pace and therefore you shouldn’t be stood up before your ready or made to bear your body weight on your little legs that may not be strong enough. Which we do all the time. For minutes on end. The OT also mentioned that you shouldn’t put stress on your infant’s neck by having them upright in strollers before they are, well, older than you. You tend to crack it in the stroller when we don’t sit you upright! So like I said, I got some parental guilt this week.
One thing I didn’t feel guilty about however was shunting you into your own room to sleep at night. Because this week, you got sick again. You became congested and irritable which made you a noisy sleeper and I thought we would all feel a little better if you slept in your cot. So I kicked you out of our bedroom. I don’t think you minded though. What you weren’t impressed with however was the return of the nasal aspirator. It is not your favourite thing. You don’t like things being sucked out of your nose. Squirting things into it on the other hand didn’t seem to be such an issue. At several points I syringed some breast milk up your nose to help clear the airways and that seemed to help.
In addition to the congestion though, you also got a little cough and a stomach bug. Which I realised after one of those perfect parenting moments when you think I so know what’s going on right before you realise you actually haven’t got a clue. See, you seem to have gone back to having a few gas issues so when I was holding you against my shoulder and you did a big poo and a large burp I was congratulating myself on helping you expel the unwanted gas and thinking “that’s what we were waiting for”…and then you spewed. All over the spit cloth, your clothes, my clothes and the floor. Clearly, I was wrong. But you obviously felt much better because you were all smiles at that point.
I then spent the next six hours only feeding you for a couple of minutes each hour to make sure you were going to keep milk down and not bring it up again by reflex. Which worked fine for the first couple of hours when you snacked and slept but then you started getting annoyed that I wouldn’t give you a full feed. You didn’t spew again though. Well, not until tonight when we tried to give you children’s panadol. Apparently you are NOT a fan. You brought that stuff straight back up! Which does not bode well for the future in which we are pretty sure you are teething.
At first we thought you were too young. We knew you were drooling a lot but we figured it was too early to look for teeth. Bepi tells us though that your father had 6 teeth at four months and a friend of mine said her girls were early teethers as well. So you may be getting teeth before you get solids. Although I am told that we can start you from four months if you are interested. You are definitely curious, I know that. I watch you avidly track the trajectory of food from the plate to my mouth. You seem intrigued as to why you don’t do the same but after the panadol incident, I’m not confident that you’ll be interested in anything that’s not breast milk right now.
But then it’s hard to tell what you will be interested in and what you won’t. I took you to Baby Rhyme Time at the library this week. It was a half hour session where a group of mums sang songs and jingled bells and danced around. You were about as entertained by this however as you were with your own feet which you also found this week. Which is to say that your attention was caught for a while and then you wanted something else to entertain you! You certainly keep us busy.