Thursday, February 25, 2010

Grasping at Straws - and Hippos, and Monkeys, and Bears

Ryan is reaching the stage where he is finally starting to be able to control his hands. He started off by randomly flailing in the general direction of what he wanted, then by deliberately flailing more specifically in the direction of what he wanted, and now he has enough control to actually deliberately bat at what he wants and most of the time, with enough persistence, grasp it. It's a very exciting time!

As with anything else, he has a few favorite things that he loves to hang onto. One of the first objects he did well at grabbing was a plastic ball made of rings:
He likes it because it rattles, it's good to chew on, and if he flails in its general direction, his fingers get caught in the rings and he can hang onto it fairly easily. It also makes very good noises when he flings it across the room. (By accident, now - no doubt it will be very much on purpose in the weeks and months to come.)

Another highly grabbable toy is his teddy bear:

Bear is very soft and squeezable so any part that Ryan grabs allows for a good handhold. Bear has the added benefit of having many chew-worthy parts: ears, hands, feet, even the brim of his hat and his little curls. Ryan doesn't seem to mind the lint factor; apparently the nappy texture that would make an adult gag feels just lovely on those tender gums. Bear can also be squashed extremely tightly to the body without damage to either baby or bear, which is apparently a very positive trait in Ryan's mind.

Of course, his beloved spitrags also belong in the grabbable category:

Not only can they be grasped at any point, tugged in any direction, and are useful for chewing, waving around, and dropping on the floor, there are literally four dozen of them in the house so there is always one (or five) close at hand.

But by far the most fun toys to grasp these days are the animals hanging from his bouncy chair:

The lion in the middle plays music (or purrs, or meows - which will be very confusing when we learn the animal noises: "What does the lion say?" "Meow!" "No, the cat says 'meow'. The lion says 'roar'." "Not MY lion, Mummy!") when you pull his ring, the monkey on one side rattles, and the hippo on the other jingles. The lion is still a bit too far for him to reach (although he does bat toward it often), but he absolutely delights in hooking his wee little fingers through the hippo's and monkey's rings and shaking them all over! The drawback to this toy is that the weight limit of the chair is 25 pounds, and since he currently weighs 24 pounds...well, YOU do the math. He's practically bottoming out in the chair now anyway, and at that angle whenever he bats at the lion the rebound nearly smacks him in the face so it's probably a good thing we stop that one soon.

I can only imagine what he'll be grabbing on to next. Anything within his reach, I'm sure! I love watching him gain more and more control day by day, and although my life will be made much more difficult once he can grab things on his own, it will also be much more exciting!

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