Monday, August 06, 2007

“Show us your trick, Natalie.”

Caption: Our little trickster.

For many months, Natalie has been very proud of her “trick.”

When prompted, Natalie will hyperextend her index finger by pulling back on it with the middle finger of the same hand. Can you picture that? Take a second to picture that. If you see something tricky, you’re not visualizing it correctly. It’s a very simple movement of the fingers, nothing more. Sometimes she does it with both hands simultaneously, but it’s still a simple move.

So, the other day in Natalie’s bedroom, Margie and Natalie are calling dad in to see her “new trick.” Dad is expecting something mild, along the lines of the finger bender. Maybe Natalie will hide her arms in her shirt?

Here is what I saw: Natalie was smiling, standing on the floor with one foot on her crib. When Margie said “go ahead,” Natalie began to climb. When she got to the top, she slowly positioned herself on the rail, half her weight on the inside, and half on the outside. She teetered there, stiff as a board, then plunged down toward the mattress, landing face first and bending her spine in a way that is too horrible to describe in this family forum. I rush to her aid with a cry of concern and pain, forgetting Rousseau’s advice in the earlier entry. Natalie, unharmed, rolls over and laughs.

“That’s not how you did it last time,” said Margie. Apparently, this trick was an improvisation.

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