Category Archives: Lila doux

Freestyle Land Swim

Lila’s training regime is picking up. Just about a month ago, brother Bob took a look at her cruising along the floor and dubbed it land swimming. It’s a good description. All that’s missing is the water as she puts her arms and legs through the motions of the dry freestyle crawl. Is this a premonition of things to come, or a longing for in uterus floating acrobatics?

She’s good to go on all surfaces – carpet, tile, linoleum, grass and hardwood. She would be a hazard to herself on a outdoor deck though. Noah blazed that particular path of learning for us at about the same age Lila is now and had the slivers to prove it. We took him into the IWK Children’s Hospital and they had a ‘we see a lot of this in the summer’ smile for us. Noah wasn’t in any pain and the slivers worked themselves out over time.

Lila is really working up a good head of steam with her signature version of the dry crawl. There is really no stopping her. Well, stairs do form an impediment going up and a danger in the down direction. On all flat surfaces though she’s becoming a speed demon and can get exactly where she wants to go.

Our girl’s latest twist is the big toe push. As she extends first one leg, then the other, she raises alternate feet with a full flex of the big toe while propelling herself forward. She’s getting traction and covering large distances with the greatest of ease.

Rocking back and forth on hands and knees is becoming a more frequent pastime. There’s a transition in the works. Before long the innovative yet ungainly land swimming will be so passé. In a matter of days, Lila will be launching herself into all fours full scale locomotion – a brand new sport.

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Lila Doux

Since the first day she came home from the hospital, she has been Lila doux for Nellie-Rose and Noah-David. I can’t remember which of the two tacked on the ‘doux‘ but it’s sticking. Doux is soft or sweet in French and Lila-Jeanne sends us into orbit on both counts. She’s off the scale.

Noah and Nellie have a song and dance number which, as cute as it is, must just about scare the baby crap out of Lila because of the boisterousness and spontaneity of it all. They usually break it out at least a couple of times a week. For the fullest effect, Lila needs to be either on the floor or at a very low elevation so she can see what’s going on and be seen by the performers. It’s a mad dash sort of dance, round and round and round the little sister until they are almost giddy with dizziness. All the while between giggled breaths, they are chanting a two-word song varying the tone, volume and rhythm, playing it like a magic incantation, like a joyous gift in the making. The lyrics are simple and unforgettable – Lila doux, Lila doux, Lila doux.

They are proud, excited, happy, funny and full of love in these moments of ‘we are three’. It’s a heady engagement in the sibling club. This is an exclusive membership that, as connected as we are in the maman and papa roles, we’ll never be able to join. It makes my heart warm to see this jump-up carnival that celebrates another baby, another sister in the ranks.

Lila doux and I are out on our second solo mission today – Halifax bound. It’s off to the on call doctor at our clinic to get another prescription for thrush. Just a week ago, we cleared up the first infection and now have to start over. It’s not serious but does cause discomfort and interferes with eating. I guess it’s easy for me to say that it just causes discomfort. I’d probably be whining away to beat the band if these nasties invaded my mouth.

We pick up the medicine at the pharmacy and continue to the mall for some shopping prior to returning home. She is in constant sleep mode. She wakes up for a nano-second as the doctor probes her mouth with a depressor and that’s pretty much it until we get home nearly two hours later. Even though she’s snoozed out, enveloped in inertia, everyone remarks on her. She is cute, darling, adorable, a dear, so sweet, a baby by any other name.

Lila and I have the longest conversations of late. It’s now a trilingual household. We’re all becoming very proficient in Gurgle. Don’t ask us what we say au juste. We take our cue from this youngest girl who speaks in tongues. She trills, squeals and sings a poetry of innocence. There are no words to fashion the images she shares with us yet they come across vibrant, bright and crisp. I get lost in her eyes as she tells her story. I am swimming in her light and her words shift my sense, my sound and sight. Everything we need to be is already there shining out at me.

Lila doux calls out in the morning after maman joins us in the kitchen. Some days she can ‘play’ by herself for 20 minutes. When she’s done with the self-directed stuff, she lets us know. She ratchets up her remonstrations slowly. She registers her pique, her disdain, her surprise that no one is with her. This is a good time to grab a quiet moment behind closed doors filled with early morning energy. I lie down beside her on our bed. I tickle, stroke and try the latest couple of colloquial Gurgle phrases I’ve learned. It’s a fine time, a waking dream, a sweet, soft surrender to the now of life.

If you want to try and wrap your tongue around Gurgle, here’s lesson 1.