Wednesday, March 6, 2013
During one of my workdays, a conversation with operating room staff turned to babies. One staff member pulled out his phone, and said, “Oh you have to see this video. Isn’t she cute?” Let me preface this description of the video by saying his baby is half a month older than my child. What I saw was unexpected. This child was happily enjoying tummy time, proudly perched on her elbows, enjoying a video on a mini tablet in front of her.
Wait…what is this I see? Is she doing her parent’s taxes while she is down there? Holy cow. I had some work to do.
I picked up my daughter from day care, whisked her out of her car seat, placed her on her belly, and turned on that sweet red guy from that street we all know and placed him in front of her. My daughter didn’t last but 10 seconds. She doesn’t like that red guy by the way, and come to think of it, his voice is pretty high pitched and is probably obnoxious to 4 month olds. I digress. So now, there it is. I’m a failure. Compared to other 4-month-olds, my daughter is a complete failure. She has a checkup in two weeks, and her pediatrician will undoubtedly give us the stare of doom as she places her on her belly and my daughter will, on cue, perform the Shamu on the stage trick where she rolls back and forth on her belly and pulls her arms behind her back. The sign of the non-tummy time Mom.
That was it. I told my husband we were going to get this done, and soon. So we practiced. If there were hidden cameras in our home to tape what our family did to entertain this small child so she wouldn’t freak, it would get a million hits on YouTube in one hour. Even my son joined in. Clapping, singing, dancing, magic tricks, you name it. Still…we failed. This child is never going to be the CEO of a company because she failed at tummy time.
Then…it happened. My husband texts me on my way home from work. “She rolled from her back to her front, then to her back again!” Okay, so I won’t go on about the guilt of missing this milestone (yet), but this girl rolled over! And then it hits me. The father of the tax preparing baby said his daughter couldn’t roll over yet. WE WIN! WE WIN! Oh wait…it isn’t a competition. Or is it?
Janet Fragle works in customer engagement for innovative technology solutions at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano and is Mom to a 9-year-old boy and 4-month-old girl who has mastered tummy time.