Small has been sneaking a new trick for a couple of weeks. You know the ones? You see it coming, but you’re not sure it will ever, actually, happen? He has been trying, and trying to sit up by himself. He would, as he’s been shown, put down one hand on one side and push himself up whilst flailing with his other limbs to try and tip himself… enough… to get to sitting… and as he would try we would all be cheering from the sidelines, ‘Come on, you can do it, come on!’… and then he’d fall back down again, grinning, knowing we’d all been watching little Small, centre of attention. Big would desperately jump in to help, push his elbow, grab his hand and we’d have to say No, he has to learn to do this by himself, just as we don’t always want to help you with, say, cutting up your food? as we can’t come with you to restaurants when you’re older to do it can we? (Cue: blank look of incomprehension about future life).
Then one day, when I went to pick him up from his lovely lovely nursery, his key worker asks if he’s been sitting up this weekend? No…..? And she turns to Small and says, let’s show Mummy. And she lay him down ever so gently and asked him to sit up. And he put one hand down on the floor to push himself up, grabbed his trouser leg with the other hand and he pushed, and pulled, and pushed and pulled and… ha ha Mummy, look! Small was sat up. All by himself.
And this is now all he wants to do. And by doing it, he does, weirdly, move himself across the floor. I will put him down sat up, he will play for a while and then very carefully lower himself back down to the floor where he will do his favourite playing: flapping every single part of his body. No physio here Mummy, just pure loving moving me. Then he will roll, play with a toy and then he will sit himself up and so, like his sister before him, he will move across the floor not unlike the knight in a game of chess. You can tell he gets a lot of enjoyment from – finally – a little independent movement and, what I love, is that now he will sit himself up and look expectantly round as he gives himself a round of applause – as we have done all too often to him, to show how well he is doing. And every every time, we join in.