The Accidental Tourist

Fine motor skills have never been Ian’s strong point. He was quickly able to roll over and pound things with his fists, but grasping Cheerios with his thumb and forefinger took quite some time. For several months, picking things from the table meant shoving them onto the floor. By the same token, playing one note on his piano meant playing them all at once.

His intentions have always been obvious; he has a very expressive face. We can see Ian’s wheels turning, desperately trying to solve the mystery of how daddy manages to eat from a spoon without covering his nose in butternut squash. He reaches slowly for the “spoon” rather than the “spoon’s handle”. He now has a handful of banappleberry cereal, but at least he’s learned that slowly is the key.

This past month, though, Ian’s become very deliberate in his actions. Once he learned that the mommy was still there, hiding behind the shower curtain, he would move his whole body, trying to see her. He would then fall face-first into the bathwater. Now, he just tilts his head to the side inch by inch, until he can see her face. He looks so…human! So much like a little person.

When he used to get upset in the car, I’d pat his mouth with my hand. “Waaaaaa-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba…” His cries became a new sound…a distracting sound…to be explored. He’d forget about being upset. After a while, he started making a soft “ahh” whenever I’d pat his mouth, just to make the sound again. Last week, Ian discovered that if he rolls the back of his hand over his mouth again and again, he can make the sound himself.

Ian’s discovery is no longer accidental. If he wants to touch something, he touches it. Misdirected right hooks are a thing of the past. Head-butts are still a significant danger.

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