Catherine Connors is a mother, writer and recovering academic who traded the lecture hall for the playroom and discovered that university students and preschoolers have much the same attention span. She still dips her toes into academic waters by writing the occasional scholarly article about the place of motherhood in Western philosophy, but mostly now she changes diapers and wipes noses and indulges in long reflections on whether Yo Gabba Gabba is a harbinger of the decline of western civilization. Oh, and she blogs: in addition to Bad Mother blogging at BeliefNet, she is, among other things, the author of HerBadMother.com, Managing Editor of MamaPop, moderator of Her Bad Mother’s Basement, co-founder and co-editor of WeCovet, Contributing Editor at BlogHer, and (deep breath) founder of and contributor to Canada Moms Blog. And in her spare time… oh, wait. She doesn’t have spare time. But she’s okay with that.
My Baby rocks.
I know, I’m supposed to say that (or something like it), ’cause I’m her mother, but seriously. She. Rocks.
We went to our first ‘activity’ today, a baby-toddler drop-in program at a nearby library, which is basically just like a support group for babies (who tend not to have a tremendous amount of peer support and interaction. Seeing as they can’t speak and all.) So, yeah, baby support group. With singing. And puppets.
(The unspoken truth here, about to be spoken – it’s also basically speed-dating for mommies, whose opportunities for cruising each other in the park are more limited in a Canadian winter. That’s really why we go to these things. You all know it’s true, too. You’ve got your pick-up lines. Mine is, “how old is your baby?” I know. Banal. But it always works.)
So, Baby LOVED the playgroup. There was circle time – where some hyperactive woman put big puppets on her hands and danced and sang and tried to lure the babies into responding – and Baby TOTALLY grooved on it. She held a rattle (that’s a big deal, trust me) and shook it (bigger deal). She smiled and bounced and shook and basically just GOT DOWN while many of the other, older babies just, like, drooled and stared into space. Mommy was very, very proud.
(Yes, it does matter that my baby be better than other babies. Sorry. Oh yeah, and also that she was having fun. Being better than other babies.)
Then there was playtime. Which is just what it sounds like – everybody retreats from the circle to the various playmats and playstations (the baby kind, not the lame-alternative-to-XBox-kind) and the mommies get down to the business of cruising each other.
Well, I won’t bore you with the details of the mommy-cruising. Trust me, it’s not remotely dirty and therefore not very interesting. (I will say, however, that the words “do you come here often” were actually spoken. More than once. But yeah, I scored. Got new mommy friends.)
The REALLY cool part had to do with Baby.
Now, the whole playmat scene (for the babies) is one of either sitting up or laying on tummies. All of the other babies (all boy babies) on the mat were somewhere between 5 and 8 months, so their sitting and tummy techniques were pretty solid. Baby is not quite 3 months old, and although she sits up really well in her Bumbo, she still requires my assistance otherwise. And as for the tummy skills? Well, let’s just say that Baby hates tummy-time. With a passion. I’m lucky if I can get a minute out of the recommended 20 per day from her. (Her neck, however, is really strong. This, we think, because she’s always been super arch-y and because she likes to fly. Not real flying, duh, but Daddy-assisted flying, which involves holding her face-forward and moving her through the air. Makes Mommy nervous, but Baby clearly likes it, and there’s the whole let-the-dad-have-his-own-style-of-parenting thing that all the books admonish about.)
ANYWAY. So I’m getting the vibe that the other moms are maybe being just a teensy bit condescending when they say, “aw, she’s so small!” and “it’ll be more fun for her when she’s bigger.” Or maybe I’m just sensitive. But Baby – dear, dear Baby – did Mommy right.
She wasn’t gonna just sit by and let the boys work the moves. She started squirming up a storm watching the boys play on their tummies, so I, just for the hell of it (and because my arms were sore), put her down. On her tummy. AND SHE TOTALLY GOT INTO IT. Pushed herself up on her little arms and craned her neck and looked around as if to say, “this is SO no big deal.” And when the two 6-month old boys next her finally did their face plants, I could swear that she, with her comparatively little munchy baby head still proudly aloft, was going “HAH!”
That’s my girl. Anything the boys can do she’s gonna do better.
She stayed there on the mat, on her tummy, for longer than any of the other babies. Made faces at herself in the floor mirrors, played with balls, did the whole floor circuit. So, the way I figure it, the key to her development is gonna be to constantly expose her to what bigger boy babies are doing and she’ll do those things too – faster and better – just to spite them. She’ll be building rockets by pre-school.
She’s so cool.
Momma said knock you out.
Originally posted at Her Bad Mother, 2006. Copyright Catherine Connors 2006 – 2009.