Sometimes, when I'm having a rough day and I'm laying on the floor watching El play and she begins to roll to her side, and then looks as if she's about to tip over on her belly I think,
If you rolled over, that would make today so much better.
This is a strange thought coming from somebody who used to create and facilitate workshops that advocated for natural gross motor development. I don't believe that tummy time and baby positioning contraptions make things happen any faster, that we can teach motor skills, and that it's healthy to push typically developing babies to meet milestones that only THEY can meet when they are ready.
So, repeat after me, or I should say, repeat after Magda Gerber...
"Earlier is not better!"
My rational brain KNOWS this is true. I'm often perplexed when my feelings and behaviors don't align with what I know and believe in.
When people ask me how El is doing, I sometimes say, "She's so great. She's not rolling over though." I'm met with the response, "That's okay! She'll get there! Every child is different." Again, I KNOW this. I'm saddened that against my best intentions, I'm defining my child by her deficits and not her strengths. This competitive mindset runs rampant through our educational system and it has no place in my home and in my relationships.
Therefore, from now on, when you or anyone asks me about my daughter I will gladly tell you how she...
- brilliantly comes up with ways to get toys to come to her.
- runs her fingers gently through my hair without tugging.
- plays peek-a-boo with anything she can get her hands on.
As for the rolling over milestone...?
From a dance perspective, her fully integrated baby body breaks down even the most seemingly simple movements at a pace where I can appreciate the grace of her limbs as they move through space. What a gift.
Whenever I feel the urge to compare my daughter to other children or Google, "When should my baby..." I'm going to look my daughter in the eyes and say,
"Take your time baby girl and enjoy the ride."