About a month ago, I went to my mom’s group and marveled at how many of the babies were already rolling over. I came home and told Jake.
“Huh,” he mused. “Are any of them not rolling over?” he asked nervously.
“Yes, just one,” I answered. “Our son.”
This was my first mistake. Developmentally, Seabass was right on track; it can take anywhere from two to six months for the average baby to roll over. But the fact that ours was the only non-rolling baby didn’t sit well with Jake. No, not at all. And thus began roll-training.
In preparation for this exercise, Jake would spread a play blanket down on the floor and then lay little Seabass on his back surrounded by plenty of toys to reach for. At the beginning, the poor dude just lay there staring at Jake as if to say, “Now what do you want?” But soon the building blocks for rolling started to fall into place and we were thrilled at our wee one’s progress.
That is, until we put two and two together. Seabass+rolling over=laying on tummy=end of the world. Allow me to explain.
Despite our attempts to acclimatize Seabass to laying on his stomach during “tummy time” (a practice that is meant to strengthen baby’s neck and back muscles), the little fish hates hates hates to be face down. In a matter of mere seconds he unravels. He grunts. He wheezes. He plants his face in the floor and lets out painful, muffled shreiks. Worst of all, he never seems to get used to it. “Tummy time” may as well be called “Pit of hell baby torture time,” because that’s exactly how it looks.
But no, it never occurred to us that this was where the roll-training would eventually lead. Ergo when Seabass howled frantically in his bed last week, I could not for the life of me imagine what was wrong. And then I saw him: face down, arms swimming and feet kicking. “Oh my goodness, he did it!” I whispered to myself, elated. “And he’s furious.”
Try as we might to get Seabass to enjoy his pit of hell baby torture time, he just doesn’t. Interestingly, though, he absolutely loves the whole rolling-over bit. There has been many a nap in which I’ve rescued a face-down screaming Seabass only to watch him roll back over the moment he’s left to himself. The desire to move forward developmentally is stronger than the desire not to cry, apparently. Or maybe he’s just not thinking.
Whatever the reason, I can’t take it anymore. Yesterday’s naps where toast due to the roll-and-freak-out scenario, which meant that nighttime sleep was fragmented and weird. After weeks of waking only once in 12 hours to feed Seabass, last night I had to wake up four – count ’em: FOUR – times. Not surprisingly, I find myself longing for the days when all this kid could do was blink.
But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy seeing Seabass’ little tush in the air when I walk into the nursery. It’s a funny thing, baby development. One moment you’re wishing he could reach the next big milestone, and the next moment you’re wishing he would just stay put.