On a roll

For the longest time, when we put Maddi down, we could count on her to stay put. She would wake up in the same spot in which we laid her in her crib. If I left the room for 20 seconds to turn the bathtub faucet on, I could be certain she was still in her Gymini. At BabyTalk sessions, other babies propelled themselves about the room by crawling or rolling, but Maddi was content to stay in one spot, taking it all in quietly with her wide blue eyes.

Those days are now a thing of the past.

For the past week or so, Maddi’s been breakdancing around the crib on her back. At first, I thought she scooted around only occasionally. Sometimes I’d see her sleeping on her side or tummy, and sometimes she’d wake up having turned 180 degrees so that her head was at the foot of her crib, but most days she’d wake up in exactly the spot we’d laid her — or so I thought.

One night last week, I laid her down, feet facing north, as I do every night. A few hours later as I made my way to my own cozy bed, I peeked in on Maddi and noted that her feet were now facing south. The next morning, I awoke to find Maddi “in exactly the spot I’d laid her,” only I knew that she had been flipping around like a little fish all night and that — while it looked as if she hadn’t stirred — she had rotated a full 360 degrees over the course of the night. Maybe even 720 degrees. Nobody knows for sure, not even our slumbering spinner.

But her somnambulance got so out of hand that, after a second night in a row of somehow wriggling over to her mobile and frolicking amongst the dangling zoo animals, we finally were forced to lower her mattress this week.

For awhile, Maddi’s gymnastics were limited to her crib and her change-table, where she enjoyed playing lively games of Twist Away from the Diaper. But yesterday, she did something I never expected.

We spent the afternoon at the home of one of Chris’ business associates, who has a 20-month-old. Maddi was so enthralled with watching her new friend play with big-girl toys that she suddenly decided that now was a good time to use the skills she’s had for months and roll all around the living room.

Our little one — who just weeks ago was so reluctant to leave her back that she would stare woefully at toys placed just out of reach rather than roll onto her tummy — flipped onto her side, wiggled around until she was in a favorable position to begin her assault on a sofa leg and then flopped onto her tummy, onto her back, and then onto her side again, where she was perfectly positioned to gnaw on aforementioned furniture.

Why she chose to do this at someone else’s house rather than in her own territory will forever remain a mystery. She also decided to finally do some proper babbling in the car with Daddy (but without Mommy!) earlier in the day, regaling him with a peal of “Ga-ga-ga-ga”s rather than her usual rather odd “Moomoomoo”s and “Boobooboo”s. All in all, it was quite a day for our little girl.

Perhaps soon she will begin crawling — and not just in the bathtub, which is the only place she’s tried to do that so far (another strange baby mystery).

One thing is certain: from now on, when I’m starting the bathwater, Maddi will be in her playpen where she can’t roll around in search of things to gnaw.

Coming soon: pictures of our newly mobile 29-week-old.

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