Take a seat

In the past two weeks, our wee daughter has gone from a bored baby to an inquisitive infant. Now that little Maddux has figured out this sitting thing, a new world has opened up in front of her.

It used to be that, in order to play with toys, Maddi had to coax someone to dangle something interesting overhead. To survey her surroundings, she needed to be held upright by some kind adult. Not anymore! With her new found independence, Maddi has become — if it’s possible — an even happier, more fun-loving baby than she was before.

Within two or three days of that first wobbly sit, Maddi began perching like a pro. She quickly began sitting for 15 and 20 minutes at a stretch, happily playing in her playpen with exciting new toys that only big girls who sit up by themselves can enjoy — pop beads, stacking rings and chime balls.

Her stroller now glides about with her facing forward in an upright position, which allows her to grin out gummily at random people at the mall who we don’t necessarily want to meet, but do anyway.

Now that she’s not concentrating so much on keeping her balance in the tub, Maddi has also discovered the transcendent joy of splashing busily with both arms, looking very much like a tiny maestro at the piano. She also devotes great concentration to chasing her rubber duckie around the tub, gnawing on it with gusto for the brief seconds before it shoots from her arms and the hunt begins anew.

Perhaps the most exciting offshoot of Maddi’s new skill is her ability to enjoy the theatre. No, not the cinema, silly! That’s way too loud for her baby ears. But there’s nothing wrong with a bit of live performance.

Maddi has the one and only season ticket to the Playpen Theatre, Peachland’s finest animal show. The tiny audience is seated within the safety of a Graco Pack ‘N Play while an intrepid animal trainer shakes a bag of Whiskas Sensations. Within seconds, fascinating creatures known as house cats are crunching and munching their treats within mere inches of Maddi’s little “theatre box.” Sometimes they meow. Other times, they gaze back curiously at the wide-eyed, smiling baby. Either way, it makes for good entertainment.

Of course, sitting is not so entertaining when the poor baby eventually topples over, especially when it is the first pain she’s experienced not related to gas bubbles, vaccinations or teething. And especially when her neglectful mommy is not there to cushion her fall and feels compelled to check her constantly for the next 24 hours to make sure she isn’t concussed. (The nurses on the medical hot line apparently had never been called regarding an infant falling over from a sitting position and bumping its head; I’m not sure whether that means I’m the first mom whose little one hit the carpet, or just the first mom whose imagination conjured up the horrors of closed head injuries and consulted three different medical professionals. Incidentally, after a call to the hot line, a rebuffed attempt to visit the ER, and a quick visit to the doctor, Maddux didn’t even have a bruise.)

The dreadful combination of negligent AND neurotic mothering aside, Maddi has been having an absolute ball as an upright baby. She sits on beds, on couches, on floors and in her playpen. She plays with toys, sucks her hands, watches cats and smiles up at her parents. She doesn’t want to lie down, she doesn’t want to sit in her Bumbo, and she doesn’t want us to hold her. She wants to do it herself! If ever there was a happy baby, it’s our wee one in her favorite position.

To celebrate Maddi’s 24-week anniversary, here’s a publicity still from the hit show, “Look! Kitties!”

And here she is working on her next skill — standing!

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