Tenacious Z: Baby Gotta Slide

Bird Lips

The most striking thing about raising baby Zane is just how quick he learns. There’s a force of will that builds with each day. Take, for example, his feeding. No, really, you can have it! Sometime in the last week he’s decided that he’d rather feed himself, something like: get that spoon outta my face, waaaaa! So we have been giving him more finger foods while trying to sneak in a tasty spoonful of something nutritious when he’s otherwise distracted and/or amenable. For a little guy he has amazing powers of resisting and deflecting a spoon. And, if that isn’t working, he can always resort to pulling his eyes out, which at the very least seems to stop Dad.

His conquering of the slide is the most impressive transformation yet. Janet dropped off Tyler’s old slide a few weeks ago and it’s been sitting outside, a colorful curiosity. Zane tried it a few times under his dad’s tutelage, wide eyed and wary. This weekend I realized it was small enough to fit in a corner of the family room where it can be surrounded by soft padding. With my help Zane tried it a few more times, but still wasn’t sure what the big deal was.

On Monday during piano lessons the student’s two year old sister was playing in the family room, reading books with her mom. Zane hovered around them, very interested in watching and listening and grabbing. She eventually saw the slide and started playing on it. Zane did his best to copy, but there’s the problem of stability (Zane’s) and poor design (the slide’s). In an attempt to save on manufacturing costs and/or space the slide maker didn’t use a top stair, instead opting for a plastic slot. Well, Zane hasn’t learned “slot in the plastic” yet, he only knows stairs and this thing is missing a vital stair. He can get up to a certain point and then he’s out of stairs. I’d help him to the top and then to slide, but you could tell he wasn’t happy with the situation.

Faith mentioned yesterday that Zane was really taking to the slide and I figured she meant he was showing the same interest as the day before. No, he had solved it. In less than twenty four hours he figured out how to get up on the slide without the top stair and even how to slide down face first. By the time I got home in the afternoon he had it perfected.

We should also mention Zane’s conquering of the stairs. On Sunday he crawled across the floor to the top of our big stairway and rather than blocking it or moving him away I decided it would be better to let him start learning. First off, the head-down approach just doesn’t work: he needed to do an end-over-end tumble to get that idea. Once turned around backwards there was great progress. Needs work, but on the right track. He figured out the mechanics of going up, with only a few problems due to too short legs. All in all he spent about ten minutes working on it.

Yesterday he crawled up both flights of stairs and barely needed assistance. I have no idea how he figured it out so quickly.

p.s. despite how it looks he didn’t land on his head at bottom of slide, instead went down with his head up and after stopping put down his head to “organize” the rest of his body to get ready for crawling.

Tenacious Z and the Slide