The Ninth Month

Body awareness

Up until recently Zane really only recognised and consciously operated two prime parts of his body: his left hand and his mouth, the former being the lynchpin in the act of getting as much food into the latter as possible. Everything else seemed to be bodily attachments that were just “there”, doing their own thing, without him paying any real attention to them: his neck was something that held up his head and collected dribble; his right arm was an occasional assistant to the left when slippery pieces of food needed to be manipulated; his bum was something that provided cushioning when he sat, and which vibrated once in a while; and his feet were strange distant appendages that flashed into view whenever he got excited. But this month he made a number of discoveries...

Now, both of his hands can be used to make noise! With the correct timing and accurate aim, connecting two flat hands together at high velocity creates a clattering sound and provides immense enjoyment. And clapping does not require kitchen utensils to make a happy din. It’s even more fun when he can join in with others: when we are watching TV and there is applause on the show that is being broadcast, Zane claps along as though he is part of the television audience, producing surround sound for us. It’s better than Dolby.

He has a belly! After a meal he resembles a bonsai Buddha, with a big round belly protruding from above his trousers and from under his top. Zane now appreciates his stomach, the Collector of Food, by happily looking down upon his magnificent protrusion and pats it heartily with both hands after a meal.

And Zane has found his willy. Admittedly, it is hidden from view by his nappy most of the time, but once when he was sitting on the floor naked, he looked down and noticed a curious new bodily accessory. Naturally, he had a bit of a fiddle with it to try and ascertain its purpose but once that minute had passed, he was just content to hang on to it and move his attention elsewhere.

Can you do this?

Try this: sit on the floor with your legs in front of you, and then fold your body over so your head is on the floor between your feet. Too easy? Now go to sleep for several hours in that position.

Or this: kneel in front of a wall, resting your hands against it slightly above your head, arms rigid, and then straighten your legs with only your toes on the floor, keeping your torso from sagging.

Another challenge: from a sitting position grab one foot and bring it to your mouth, while staying in an upright the dinner table

Do you find any of these difficult? If you can do them, you are probably a black belt yoga master, or a baby. 

Sound effects

Zane creates some noises that don’t seem appropriate for a baby. It’s funny when we hear them, but then we think, “Where did he get that from?” One of these sound effects would be at home on an alien film, and our boy achieves with when his mouth is full of excess saliva, which is pretty much during his every waking hour. Essentially he sucks air in through a pool of dribble seated on his tongue, creating a bubbling noise; the first time I heard it I found it disturbing as it reminded me of the sound that Hannibal Lecter made in Silence of the Lambs, and caused me to look quickly at the source: my son innocently combining air and spit for his aural enjoyment. 

He also has a giggle that has a slightly evil aura to it, a snigger that he unleashes occasionally when he is a little hyperactive or over-excited. It’s a low pitched and slightly manic “herherherherher”, a wicked chuckle that says, “Give me that banana now, or the phone gets it”. 

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