Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Reluctant Roller

Though she's still doing a rather inefficient drag-move along the ground, Mia has gotten astonishingly fast as she attempts to crawl along the floor. She's also perfected the tummy-to-back roll, which she performs several times a day, though I cannot for the life of me understand why.

You see, because she's a tummy sleeper, she's never had much occasion to learn rolling the other way 'round. I've often wondered if she really could, as there have only been two occasions I've actually seen it happen (many months ago), and they seemed to be accidental in nature. Now, it's clear that she really can't do it yet.

It happens every time. She'll roll to her back, enjoy the new perspective for awhile, then start fussing.

I try to let her struggle for a bit, because it's the only way she'll learn. I'm especially eager for her to do so because she's running a bit late on this milestone (it usually occurs between five and six months). Granted, she's at a disadvantage since- like her brother- I've been unable to follow the current wisdom and put her on her back to sleep, due to her early reflux issues. Since she's hardly ever on her back at all, she hasn't had opportunities to practice.

I remember going through the same thing with Michael, though he wasn't nearly so opposed to straightening out the deficit once he identified it. Mia has been a bit more stubborn.

When fussing gets her nowhere, she ramps up to actual crying, at which point I feel obliged to get involved. The trouble seems to be that she thinks the way out of her predicament is to sit herself up with her abs alone. She'll do crunches until she's tired, and then call it quits on the whole thing. It never seems to occur to her that her legs should be doing the bulk of the work for her.

So, I try to show her how it's done. I grab an ankle, and pull it over and upwards.

She's perfectly content to have me do the job for her, but I wait, hopeful that she'll pick up from where I stopped.

She doesn't, so I push a little more...

... and then a little more.

Every time, we reach a critical point where it appears that she's exerting more effort balancing on her side than it would take her to finish the move. For some reason, she's reluctant to swing that lagging arm around to get her back to where she wants to be.

Perhaps it's because her tummy is not really where she wants to be at all. I mean, look at the thanks I got after all the work I put in (she'd mostly dropped the sneer by the time I took this photo but I assure you- it was there).

After all, this is a kid who's trying hard to pull up and stand before she's even managed independent sitting. Maybe she thinks there's a magic move to get her right up on two feet like her siblings.

Soon enough, there will be. For now, I hope she doesn't find a back-to-tummy roll too low a goal to strivet for; it will necessarily lead to other, better things someday.