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Boppin’ and Belly Back Slides

Posted by PlayGroundology on September 16, 2008

There’s been a lot of dancing around our house the past few days. It’s Noah’s spontaneous groovin’ to the beat. When he gets fired up, toes tapping, hips swivelling and wiggling he likes to get maman and papa out on the floor. The three of us let loose together sometimes with the little Nellie-Rose doing a dipsy-doodle crawl between our legs. We’re not fussed by styles, or steps. It’s pretty much an expression of free form elation. Noah’s been movin’ to the groovin’ almost since he started to walk. I’ve always thought it would be a barrel full of fun to get a 100 or so 2 to 4-year-old kids together and let them loose to music for 3 to 4 minutes as the intro piece to a professional dance show. Perhaps it’s already been done……

Nellie-Rose is mobility. She’s an unstoppable force. A virtuoso hands and knees girl she’s now crawling around, over, or through just about any obstacle. She’s faster than a speeding puppy. If they had such a thing as baby races I’d put money on her. Over the last couple of weeks she’s developed a new means of locomotion that I’ve dubbed the belly back slide. Her ear-to-ear grin when she’s propelling herself backwards is a true sign of fun’s pure pleasure. The move is simplicity itself. Belly down on the floor and head up so she can watch our reactions, she pushes herself mightily and repeatedly with her hands scooting across smooth surfaces in reverse. The belly back slide is a relatively rare sighting, an unprompted impulse that creates moments of wonderful lightness floating us all to the moment of now.

Ms. Extreme Sport has also started climbing stairs and has turned it into a game of giggles, chase and catch me. Her favourites are the ones that lead from downstairs. They are carpeted and provide a little cushion in the event of slips and tiny tumbles. As soon as she arrives at the first of the eight steps she pulls herself up and turns her head around to look back into the room. She knows that she is not supposed to climb up but this look back is a beaming beatific smile from our capricious imp. She launches herself on a spirited assault on the first step. Perhaps this is how a young Chris Sharma started out?? She never gets beyond the second step before either her maman or I swoop her up into our arms. With supervision she’s able to scramble to the top unassisted – it’s really time for us to get the safety gate in place.

We’ve had to innovate in the area of behaviour change over the past couple of weeks. To assist us we’ve established the Eastern Passage Canada Research Chair in Applied Behavioural Discipline. Noah-David is currently the only undergraduate student conducting research. As the Chair is physically located at the end of the hall that leads to our bedrooms we’re happily able to keep everything under one roof. The Chair has now replaced the bedroom as Noah’s place of conscripted contemplation where he reluctantly sits to ponder what maman or papa have flagged as social transgressions that we’d like to nip in the bud. Early results of the new treatment suggest that it is more effective than the bedroom isolation chamber but the findings are still inconclusive at press time. The initial transition from bedroom to Chair created a crescendo of wails and gnashing of teeth but this past week we have not had to call upon the Chair at all.

In the last couple of weeks we’ve also been able to put the kaibosh to an annoying and unsanitary habit. Constant nagging every day over a couple of months had not proven to be very effective in changing Noah’s inveterate nail biting. The gnawing is now a thing of the past. Maman introduced the solution one afternoon – mittens. Noah’s yelling, sobbing and crying when the mittens were put on were met with a steely determination from both of us. By the end of the afternoon the mittens were removed with the agreement that there would be no more biting or the mittens would be reapplied. Noah’s nails will be due for a clipping soon, hurrah.

Noah-David was threed and the family birthday celebrations were excellent. Grand-maman Nicole and grand-papa Raymond came from Sorel laden with hugs and gifts and my family scooted down the road from Portland Estates for some cake and kisses too. It’s hard to believe that he’s 3-years-old. I think we’re so fortunate that for the majority of that time he has been in our care and will continue to be now until he goes to school. His first experience with another caregiver was an unbelievable hit. We were so fortunate to have Tomoyo come to our home following Mélanie’s return to work. It’s just over one year ago that we said goodbye to Tomoyo and Noah remembers her still – as do we. She was such a wonderful light in our boy’s life. The subsequent 4 months at day care wasn’t quite as much fun though Noah speaks nostalgically of it now. The transition was never really a success and now the lad is home and happy with his maman, little sister and for the time being papa too.

Nellie has had a few digestive problems linked to eating fruit we think. Her little system is having a hard time breaking down the solids resulting in way too much gas for such a tiny body. There has been night time crying, writhing and discomfort. It’s vaguely reminiscent of the colic queen days but luckily for all of us, nowhere near as intense. At about the same time this digestive ailment bubbled up, our Nellie added a new vocal cry to her repertoire that makes me think of a whooping crane in full whoop. It is not a pretty sound. It’s clear intent in its absolute raucousness is to loudly and insistently telegraph a need that must be met NOW. It’s as effective as it is annoying particularly when it is proferred repeatedly in rapid succession because the need requires some preparation before it can be met. This is a sound from my beloved Nellie-Rose that I hope will be retired sooner rather than later.

Rainbow Haven has become a favourite local hangout. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t actually get in the frigid Atlantic wash but we do enjoy trolling the beach and looking across the narrows to the goings on in West Lawrencetown. Noah runs free lugging huge rocks down to the water’s edge to catapult into the lapping or splashing waves depending on the tide’s turn. Nellie scrabbles across the hard packed sand her tiny inquisitive fingers picking up the minutest pebbles and making their own raindrop indents, the “Nellie was here signature” an ephemeral imprint in this large expanse.

As the grey skies started to lift at dawn the full moon dashed out some morse code long and short through skirting clouds. It said the Passage would be in for a fine day. The sun is bright at 8 and the beach is beckoning.


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