My toddlers toes have a mind of their own

Xavier’s limbs have a mind of their own. I first noticed when he was quite young, maybe three months old. His feet were the first to develop sentience. At any point – day or night – his feet would be moving. Twitching. Wiggling. Like legs on a cricket they would rub together constantly, even while he was sleeping.

At first it was kind of cute: “Look how he kick, kick, kicks! Maybe he’ll be a soccer player,” we would think. But we soon realized that his legs had a darker intent; they were conspiring to keep us awake. As long as his feet twitched, his eyes were open, and therefore so were ours. Keeping the swaddle tight worked for a while, and eventually we moved to just holding his ankles apart when he got ready to hit the hay.

Even then, it was little more than a nuisance until the age of 7 or 8 months. It was at this point that his arms came to life. Until then, X had been turtling on his back with no way to really flip over. Around the time we moved to Sydney, he figured out how to get up on his hands and knees and crawl. This was SO exciting for everyone! Especially his arms. So exciting, in fact, that they would do pushups while the boy was sleeping.

There he’d be, snoring away in the cot, when one arm would leap up suddenly, the weight of which would pull the rest of him over on his side. A few seconds later, the other arm would twitch, and wriggle out from under his body. His tiny snores would become slightly quieter as gravity rolled him onto his belly, and suddenly POP! Up he would go in a baby pushup.

I certainly don’t have a lot of experience with push-ups, but I do know that this is not a comfortable position for sleeping in. Frequently we would find him crying in his crib in a table shaped position. It was an easy fix; just give him a little nudge, and he’d fall over and complete the roll onto his back. I think that most of the time he wasn’t even awake, so he’d drift off super quick.

This past week, another limb has again sprung to life in a new way. It’s his left hand. While his right hand appears to be solidly under his control, Lefty appears to be trying to starve the poor boy. Anytime I move food in his direction, little Lefty will strike like a wild viper, sending peas/yoghurt/spaghetti soaring through the air. If you come at him from the right side, you can usually sneak past Lefty (I think it sees with his elbow); and if you hold his arm down, Xavier will happily eat whatever is offered to him.

The most impressive thing is that he appears to be developing Jedi reflexes to go with the new sentience. On command, Xavier will scrunch up his face, close his eyes, and squeeze his legs together (this is a trick Sarah taught him early on — Squeeze! — this turned into a dinner time event as X’s phonetical sense couldn’t quite differentiate Squeeze from Please). I’ve tried sneaking in food when he squeezes his eyes shut, but that left hand is miraculously able to shoot out and grab the spoon mid-travel! In all sincerity, I’m pretty proud of Xavier’s high metachlorian count, I just need to figure out how to get past his defenses or hungry he will be.

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