Sunday, May 30, 2010

Roll Baby, Please Roll

In the last two weeks, my neck has grown much longer, thanks to Kenan.

Two weeks ago, it was as long a giraffe’s. By now, it’s probably almost like that of a Brachiosaurus.

Ok so I’m speaking figuratively, but honestly, that’s how I feel.

Since Kenan turned four months old, I’ve been looking forward to him being able to roll over. It seems the fourth month marks the time when many babies start acquiring the skill. Some of them could even do it before reaching four months.

So when more and more forum mommies are reporting about their little ones’ successes in rolling over, I felt really envious. Yet at the same time, I started worrying if Kenan is being too slow in reaching this new milestone.

I decided to take a look at the developmental checklist in Kenan’s health booklet. Under the ‘Gross Motor’ section, it states that majority of babies can roll over from stomach to back or back to stomach by FIVE MONTHS OLD. Gosh, that would be about two weeks away!

Except for one occasion (about two, three weeks ago) where he nearly turned from tummy onto his back (his hand was placed such that it obstructed his complete roll over), he has yet to come close to doing it again. And he doesn’t even seem keen to try. He is very happy lying on his back. When I give him tummy time, he could prop himself up for a couple of minutes. But when he gets tired, he will start making lots of noise, yet no matter how much he fusses, he simply refuses to try rolling onto his back by himself!

So I thought I could lend a helping hand. I’ve practised with him (he can roll over whenever I help him to turn to his side) and demonstrated to him on my bed how to roll over hoping he might think it’s fun to imitate mommy; I’ve also thought desperation might be a good motivator and left him to cry while on his tummy - but none of these has any effect as yet.

I shared with some mommy friends my anxiety. Interestingly, they all told me not to compare with other babies as each child is unique.

However, as a mommy, I can’t help being concerned about my child’s developments. I wish that my boy will grow up healthily. And being a mommy, I’m always looking forward to seeing my son learning something new and celebrating each of his milestones.

Yet perhaps what’s really making me anxious is the realisation that there’s just so much I can do for him – how things turn out is really beyond my control. I suppose this is something I have to learn as a mommy but it's certainly not an easy lesson.

I can be an encourager, a guide, a mentor and a coach to my boy, but my child’s life is in his hands. My role as a mommy should be to help nurture him, to create opportunities for him to discover his strengths and passions, and help him develop good values and life skills that will empower him to fulfill his greatest potential.

I know all that in my head, but it's not easy to live it out though. Because as a parent, I have certain hopes and dreams for my son (like how I secretly wish that he becomes a plastic surgeon so I can get free cosmetic procedures when I'm old!). I will have to remind myself not to press him into the mould that I wish him to fit into and instead, give him room to blossom into the special individual that God has created him to be - and that is my daily prayer.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep praying too that Kenan will roll over when the five months mark comes along!


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