Wednesday, August 13, 2008

From Whiplash to Olympic gymnastics

Watching the Olympic gymnasts spin and somersault madly on TV brings to mind Sonny's latest, and scariest, parent-torture trick: The Whiplash.

We'll be carrying him in our arms, peaceably working out the latest diaper bill, and Sonny will be deceptively quiet. Perhaps he'll scrutinise his knuckles. Then, suddenly, his entire upper body will bob slightly before flipping fiercely downward. We'll feel the jerk and for a second, it will feel as though Sonny is about to pop out of our embrace and smash to the unyielding concrete.

So far, that worst-case scenario hasn't come to pass. But the young fella's face will lend up perpendicular to the ground, flat against our midriffs and bouncing slightly. He's done it a few times now, and twice over the weekend. Yet Sonny doesn't tear up or even look concerned after these Whiplash demonstrations. As we desperately haul him up and examine him for signs that his upper body might detach or his eyeballs might slip out, he'll gaze wisely at us, a tad disapprovingly. As though to say, why are these adults making such a to-do over a little move like that? Just a little flexing, keeping myself limber: I'm 10 days away from hitting the four-month mark and we gymnasts have to start early, you know!

Of course, we already know Sonny can easily contort himself into a teardrop shape when stuffed into Mum's sling (click here for our post on this ability, though the sling is probably not up there with the pommel horse or rings as standard gym apparatus). So it shouldn't have surprised us that he can do the Whiplash without ill effect. But we're already clutching him extra-carefully and may deploy Mac the stroller more frequently. Who's to say he won't get a little too enthusiastic and spring completely from our grasp - with no foam mattress to break his fall, unlike with real gymnasts? And even these top tumblers occasionally fall from the balance beam, or fumble their vaults, or whatever we call these foul-ups.

Sonny, why not try some infant version of golf instead?


Anonymous said...

Oh, my son did the same thing when he was a baby. but it was more becuase unlike his sister - he didn't like to be held. my duaghter loved to be held and cuddle - but my son nope, even today at 4 yrs old he prefer to jump on you that have you hug him.

Cloudsters said...

While we're on hugs, Bill, our Sonny has evolved a gesture that seems to mean, 'Pick me up and hold me': He opens his arms wide and begins to rock excitedly, then splutters indignantly if we don't oblige.

Anonymous said...

That's cute.
Atleast you undestand him....
My son he is 4 and for some reason has decided to speak in sign language - he is learning it at his kids wednesday night program he visits - it's a bit annoying cuase he'll start talking and then make a gesture with his hands that i don't have no clue to what it means.

Cloudsters said...

Nothing for it, Bill, except for you adults to join the class and pick up sign language too.