Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The True Meaning of a Steep Learning Curve

I know we've all been taught to take what we read on Wikipedia with a grain of salt, but the graphs tell the story on this one, so I'm gonna take Wikipedia's side on the claim that "The familiar expression 'a steep learning curve' is intended to mean that the activity is difficult to learn, although a learning curve with a steep start actually represents rapid progress."

That being said, Mia has proven to have a precipitously steep learning curve when it comes to crawling. It's come out of nowhere for me, especially given the ambivalence she's shown towards really improving upon her tentative forays into sitting up. While she can hold the position for a good amount of time if she's not tired, her total success rate is still pretty unpredictable, and she's far from being able sit herself upright on her own. That's after about three weeks of experimentation.

For this reason, while I was excited to see her take up the pre-crawl position on hands and knees for the first time this morning, I squealed with delight, took a picture (just as she was collapsing out of it, of course) and mentally moved on.

However, when I brought her in to surprise a bleary-eyed Abigail as she was waking from her nap this afternoon, I was amazed to see how comfortable Mia looked wriggling around over top of her older sister.

Then, this evening, she was literally crawling over my legs when I placed her belly-down on my lap. Over and over.

Of course, on my lap, she had the advantage of a downward incline from my leg to the sofa cushion. I wondered if she could really repeat the performance on the flat, hard floor.

She definitely had more difficulty, but amazingly, she proved up to the task. Within a couple of minutes, she had half-dragged, half-crawled her way about two feet from the sofa to get her hands on a coveted legwarmer in her sightline.

When I saw that left knee pull up in classic crawl form, I knew it was time to start videotaping instead. Of course, I missed her very best moves, but she attempted them again a couple more times under the watchful eye of the camera. I think she did pretty well considering how very tired she was (this was just before bedtime) and how fascinating the carpet texture was (it proved to be a very great distraction for her, as you can see). Keep an eye on that colorful bit of plastic that appears in the lower-left corner at around the thirty second mark...

She may not look like she got far while I was recording, but she eventually made her way there, to her final goal of the evening.

Watch out, World! Mia's coming for you, next.


You'd never believe it from the story I just told, but Mia had a total meltdown (likely teething-related, and definitely nap-strike-related) just prior to all of the last-minute excitement of the day. In the midst of all of the screaming, I could not take the time to look up and  try a new carry, so I tried to quickly recall the Robin's Hip I'd done the day before. I mostly recreated it, but with some differences.

This time, since I only half knew what I was doing, I ended up crossing only one pass under Mia's tush. However, it felt very secure, and starting over would have completely irritated a very aggravated baby, so I left it as-is. As it turned out, I found it even more comfortable than last night's version.

Somehow, the one pass did a better job of countering Mia's natural tendency to lean out away from me. Though she looks a little off-center in this picture because I have my hip turned toward the mirror...

... you can see from this angle that she actually looked (and felt) perfectly balanced on my hip.

So, yeah- I have no idea what carry that turned out to be, but it allowed me to eat my dinner- while rather awkwardly- in peace, and continue the snuggles for a bit of time afterwards.

The end result was a Mia so altered by the bonding time with Mommy (and gnawing time with Sophie) that she embarked on the adventure you just read about above, and one of the biggest milestones of her short life: The First Crawl.

If I never wear this wrap again I think it's already proved its worth. But, of course, you'll surely see us both in it tomorrow.