It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Defying Gravity: More complicated than you’d think

Nigel (two and three-quarters) stands on the bottom step and leaps into the void. And lands on the hall floor, laughing. “I’m JUMPING! I JUMPED!” And does it again. And again. And again.

Timmy (two and two months) stands on the bottom step and … takes a large, sort of bouncing step forward. Lands on one foot; the second foot lands a split-second later. “I JUMPIN! I JUMP!!!” Well, almost …

Emily (two and no months) stands on the bottom step, coils to spring, and … pauses. Then re-coils, bends her knees, and … pauses. Coils once more, bends her knees, draws her elbows up high and tight so they jut out behind her tubby body, and … pauses. Then steps down onto the hall floor, jumps three times in quick succession — thud! thud! thud! — and makes for the dining room at a run.

Which is an improvement. Let us flash back three months:

Emily stands, both feet on the floor, coiled to spring. She bends her knees, tucks in her elbows, sticks her padded butt out, and, and, and — STANDS UP!!

Hmmm… not what she was after. She bends her knees, tucks in her elbows, sticks her padded butt out, and, and, and — STANDS UP!! And swings her hands above her head!! (Well, her fingertips clear her head. The rest of her hands are in the range of her ears. But this is as far has her arms GO.)

Let’s try that again. She bends her knees, tucks in her elbows, sticks her padded butt out, and, and, and — STANDS UP!! And swings her hands “above” her head, AND … LIFTS ONE FOOT OFF THE FLOOR!!


So you are, sweetie. So you are.

October 24, 2007 - Posted by | Developmental stuff, Emily


  1. Aren’t they sweet! It’s not until one is around toddlers that one realizes just how complicated things like jumping (or dzomping, as the case may be) can be!

    Comment by Ms. Huis Herself | October 24, 2007 | Reply

  2. So cute. They want so badly to get that next step, the one the bigger kids are doing. Pumpkinpie was the same, always striving. It’s how they make progress, but still, sometimes you just want to say, “Calm down a minute, okay? It’s not that pressing!”

    Comment by kittenpie | October 25, 2007 | Reply

  3. In the beginning, it’s almost like magic to be able to get your body to lift up off the ground.

    Comment by mamacita tina | October 25, 2007 | Reply

  4. Ms Huis: Rolling over, walking, running, jumping, galloping, using a spoon, tipping a cup to drink … Each of them a complicated set of skills, that we take entirely for granted. Until we watch our babies learning them. Not so simple at all!

    Kittenpie: But it IS!! They sure do get compulsive about that next skill, don’t they? Over and over and over again. And with remarkable patience, given how impatient they so often are. It always astonishes me.

    Mamacita Tina: Isn’t it? And really, when you watch a toddler learn to do it, you realize just how many small skilss are necessary to do it, and how very precisely they all have to be co-ordinated. In a way, it’s quite startling that we learn them so early!

    Comment by MaryP | October 25, 2007 | Reply

  5. Jeffrey is currently working on marching (Where one foot leaves the ground for a precarious second while shouting mach mach mach)and jumping (the slight bending of the knees as he smiles gleefully up at you).

    Isn’t it wonderful to watch them grow and learn all these new things.

    Comment by Dani | October 26, 2007 | Reply

  6. I love watching the twins jump. Just in the past few months have they actually gotten off the ground. So cute.

    Comment by Matthew | October 26, 2007 | Reply

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