Something’s afoot

It seems like just a few weeks ago that our wee daughter discovered her hands. In fact, it was just a few weeks ago. In the time since, she has played with her fingers as if counting them, tented her hands like a small, chubby C. Montgomery Burns, used her new tools to insert pacifiers and grab toys (first, quite comically, with closed fists and later with a mitten-like grasp), and, as I may have mentioned, she has spent quite a lot of time stuffing her hands in her slobbery little mouth.

But now, the bloom is off the rose, and Maddi has gone on to bigger and better things. Namely, her feet. At any given time, Maddi is either gazing adoringly at her toes as she holds them high and proud, or she has one foot firmly grasped in a little fist. In the past week, she has been waking in the night to play with her newest toys (and then wail piteously while still clutching her pajama footies) and has even managed to pull off a few pairs of socks.

I’m not really sure why she finds feet so fascinating, but there it is.

She plays with her own feet constantly, and then stares in awe (followed by uproarious laughter) when I put on my own shoes and socks. In a 40-year-old man I would find this more than a little weird, but luckily for Maddux, she’s an exceptionally cute 17-week-old girl and this behavior is more adorable than creepy.

However, it’s not all fun and games. As her neck and shoulders have become stronger and she’s developed this new-found interest in feet, corralling Maddux into a car seat or her swing has become more difficult. Either she will bend forward to grab her toes as I’m trying to secure her, or she will arch her back in refusal — knowing that once she’s buckled in, she won’t be able to reach her favorite playthings.

Apparently, for our little princess to be a happy girl, she must have easy access to — and good visibility of — the all-important feet.

Tonight, I introduced a new variable into her nightly bath and was stymied, in part by her foot fixation. Instead of putting Maddi in her infant tub, which now requires grease and a shoehorn, I assembled her new bath seat and tested its popularity.

Unfortunately, Maddi a) is not yet 5-10 months old, which means she is lost in the giant bath seat; b) cannot sit for more than 2 seconds on her own, which means that without my help, she eventually either slumps over the front or crumples toward the back; and, most importantly, c) cannot see her feet when positioned in the bath seat, which means that her entire time in the bath seat was spent contorting herself into positions in which she thought she might get a better vantage point. Her favorite position to optimize pedal visibility was standing straight up (another new fixation), which meant that the bath seat was hard-put-upon to contain our slippery, naked, too-small baby.

Needless to say, I decided to retire all baby-bath gizmos, large and small, for a few months and just bathe her in the big tub. Unused to bathing in more than a cup of water poured into her sardine tin of a baby tub, she regarded this new “floating” thing with a measure of trepidation at first. However, Maddux soon realized that she had GREAT toe access and was mollified.

And here’s a picture of Maddi at 17 weeks, entertaining herself in her new favorite way:

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