The Fish Arms

Now that our son can walk, he selectively decides when he wants to be picked up. Usually, as far as I can tell, the decision tree goes something like this:

  • Is Mom/Dad carrying something heavy? (Pick me up!)
  • Is Mom/Dad on her/his way to do something important, like go to the bathroom? (Pick me up!)
  • Do we have plenty of time, and Mom/Dad want me to practice walking? (Pick me up!)
  • Are we running late for an important appointment? (Don’t pick me up?)
  • Is Mom/Dad trying to get me to go somewhere specific? (Don’t pick me up!)
  • Is there a large person or vehicle bearing down on us as I toddle slowly hither and yon? (Don’t pick me up!)

You get the idea. What’s worse, he somehow figured out how to do a dead arm maneuver, wherein he lets his arms and shoulders go completely slack so it’s like you’re trying to pick up a 23 pound fish. He literally slides right through your hands.

He’s also developing a set of skills and strategies for avoiding being placed in other confinements, such as high chairs or car seats. He’s figured out how to prop his elbows on the headrest of his car seat, making it all but impossible to get him strapped and stapled in, even if you manually bend his legs into a sitting position. The only recourse is to bring him in low, slide him across the seat and then propel him upwards just enough to pull the buckles across him.

We still haven’t figured out a best solution for the high chair. (The time I tried to sit in it to show him what he should do was a definitive failure.) Soon enough he’ll be unbuckling himself, and then we’ll all be in trouble.

Luckily for him, he has a winsome gap-toothed grin that makes him amenable. We still have to figure something out, though. My ego can’t take getting out-wrestled by an 18-month-old.


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