Dot writes: a couple of weeks ago I got a letter inviting me to bring Prawn to Loughlinstown Health Centre on the 26th February (today) for a ‘developmental assessment’. Now, I am a worrier and also (alas) a pushy middle class mum in the making, and I have been fretting slightly at Prawn’s reluctance to keep to the schedule of new achievements laid down for him in What to Expect: The First Year. On the one hand, I know he will get round to rolling and babbling and so forth in his own good time; on the other, I firmly believe him to be the best and most adorable baby in the world; but, on another hand (this one is obviously a kind of alien graft), I also worry that he isn’t as advanced as my friend Aura’s baby who is almost exactly the same age (though not nearly as fat). Happily, Prawn has been swotting up.
In the last week he has (hoorah!) convincingly discovered his hands. Not just fist-chewing or absently grasping his mother’s hair, but pulling dangly toys towards him, looking at them as he does so, and sometimes bringing in the other hand to help. He also clasps his hands together, occasionally inspects them, and has rediscovered sucking his thumb, a skill he had at a week old and then lost again (this sometimes involves sticking his index finger up his nose). Here he is playing with the buggy bar I got him for his bouncy chair. It doesn’t fit the buggy, but it’s great nonetheless.
(Ken, looking over my shoulder, meanly points out that Prawn isn’t really reaching yet and ‘convincing’ is an overstatement.)
Another habit Prawn has acquired is trying to heave himself up into a more upright position as he sits in the aforementioned bouncy chair. Note how in the picture below he has lifted his head and some of his upper back from the canvas. The work he is perusing is That’s not my Monster (Usborne, 2004).
Sadly, he is still not too keen on tummy time. He hasn’t got the idea of pushing up with his arms and tries to lift head and legs together, grunting painfully and wobbling from side to side as he does so. But he is trying a bit harder than he did a month ago. The picture below was taken on the 17th January.
In the end it turned out the assessment wasn’t concerned with any of this stuff. The nurse measured Prawn’s head, felt his fontanelles, weighed him (he’d put on three ounces SINCE YESTERDAY), ascertained that he startles at loud noises, and remarked in passing that he seems a happy little chap. That was it. I feel he should at least have had a rosette or something for his efforts.