Every morning Zane is a bundle of energy and enthusiastically performs a regime of exercises. He has developed a series of moves which no doubt could be demonstrated on a baby yoga video. First up is the “Petrified Starfish” where – lying on his back – he stretches his arms and legs out starfish-style and tenses every muscle in his body. Next is the “Pot Belly Bridge” where he lays as straight as possible and lifts his bulging belly as high as he can, so that only his ankles and head are touching the floor. Again, he does this tensing his whole body to the point where his little body is shaking with exertion and his cheeks go red. Then we have the “Spread Eagle” where, still on his back, he lifts his legs and parts them into a perfect little “V”, and holds it for an impressive period. Finally, he has his “Horizontal Squat” move, a pose that looks like he is riding an invisible motorbike up a wall, which doesn’t seem to exercise much apart from his clenched fists around the imaginary handlebars.
He isn’t quite yoga guru level yet; he needs to work on his breathing more. That is to say, he actually needs to breathe when doing these movements: he just clenches everything as tight as he can, grunting like a weight-lifter attempting to lift something slightly heavier than they are able. No doubt these exercises have some developmental purpose, however he just seems to do it all to show off! When he does them, he looks at me, his lips pursed, the blood rushing to his head, his eyes and cheeks about to pop as he tries the hardest to impress. Peculiarly, he knows that he needs to do something special when a camera is pointed in his direction, for which he always performs his Pot Belly Bridge, with extra grunting; it’s quite hilarious, and the effort is admirable, but unfortunately it doesn’t look as nice as his smile!
Zane has worked out how to grab things with his hands. Once he grabs something, however, the next logical action for him is to try and eat it, like a hungry crab that funnels anything in its path into its ready mouth. It doesn’t matter what it is: his bib, his shirt, his blanket, all objects within reach are dragged into his awaiting mouth, like a dribble-laden black hole sucking anything within its gravitational pull. In fact, any intergalactic material orbiting Zane is likely to be drawn into his gaping saliva factory; I’ve almost lost fingers that were within gripping distance of his strong little claws.
We discovered why Zane has been producing enough dribble to create a large swamp. He has teeth! Two of them! We were expecting such a development at six months, not at three and a half. Jas discovered this by surprise early one morning - her loud exclamation was enough to wake me. It certainly makes breastfeeding more, er, interesting...
Zane has been experimenting more with his vocal range, trying different noises to see what he can produce and what feels good to him. Interestingly, when he talks to his toys, he makes noises that sound something like what whales might produce when in season. His conversation typically starts with a high pitched dolphin-like squeal that slowly descends a number of octaves into a nasal groan. I’m surprised there haven’t been a number of cases of marine mammals beaching themselves nearby. If ever they made an Adults Only version of Finding Nemo, Zane could be enlisted to do the sound effects for it.
Zane watches a little TV occasionally. One evening while he was gently swaying in his bouncer and watching the news, some report came on about a girls’ school, which was naturally accompanied by footage of girls frolicking about in their playground. Zane was very quiet until this report, at which point he released a number of enthusiastic “oooh!” sounds. That’s my boy.