Friday, June 23, 2006

Eleven Weeks After: Racing Against Himself

We knew JOOB was ahead on some of his motor development skills when, at the baby maasage class a couple of weeks ago, the other babies (some his age, some older) just lay on their tummies, but JOOB was lifting his head up all by himself.

"Well, aren't you strong?" exclaimed the midwife, and as JOOB peered round the room with great curiosity, "And aren't you sociable?"

You betcha. JOOB's unquenchable curiosity about his world is what has been driving his development.

From 3-4 weeks, he'd been capable of supporting his own weight when held standing.

At 5 weeks, he was regularly holding his head up unsupported.

At 5-6 weeks, he'd begun sucking on his own hand.

By 8 weeks, he was experimenting with consonants.

At 9-10 weeks, he was reaching for and grasping objects.

But there is one simple activity that has so far eluded JOOB's ability: blinking.

Right from Day 1, JOOB has fixed his unblinking gaze upon an incomprehensible and endlessly fascinating world with an intensity that is often startling to behold.

And if you're any of the unfortunate parents who've sat next to me at the mothers' group meetings, you know what it's like to be the subject of one of JOOB's stares.

"Oh, he's so alert," one of the mothers said this week, as JOOB stared at her. Ten minutes later, JOOB was still staring at her. I caught her glancing sideways at him several times. I think JOOB's unwavering attention was beginning to unnerve her, as it has unnerved others.

It's as if JOOB doesn't want to miss a thing as he tries to understand his world. So he stares and he stares and he stares and doesn't blink. One of these days, he'll work out the blinking thing, but until then, he'll be our own little basilisk. Meanwhile, we may hace to run to keep up with his pace of development.

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