Friday, May 30, 2008

The eye of the tiger

Sweet little baby J (his fighting name) has embarked on a total body makeover. It seems he was dissatisfied with his previous regime of eating minimal amounts, sleeping, and lying around. The only exercise he got then was straining to, umm, relieve himself and occasionally arching his back when angry. But now he's on a new and improved health kick, consisting of five steps he employs daily.

Step one: carbo load. Or at least formula load. He's doubled his intake at most feedings (which would be more dramatic except he wasn't eating enough at all before, so now we're just in the normal range). He will now drink almost 5 ounces in one sitting, burp dramatically (he's not one for stopping and restarting, you see), and then look at you like he's offended by the mere thought of more food when you offer him anything else. His body is a temple, even if you can't see that.

Step two: baby abs of steel. J is no longer content just to lie around like a baby. Oh no, he needs to use that time to his advantage, so he does crunches. And not just tiny, rapid crunches either, but deep bends at the waist from a supine position which he holds for as long as he can each time. And repeat. His core strength really is remarkable at this point, but he's not resting on his laurels and keeps pushing himself each day.

Step three: maximize waking hours. After a few days of sleeping well at night and taking more or less normal naps, J has eschewed such namby-pamby actions in favor of waking before dawn to begin his training, taking short power naps, and only deigning to sleep longer during the day if cuddled and rocked unceasingly by his trainer (mommy). When asked, he will only comment off-handedly that sleep is for the weak.

Step four: jump, jump. J has just discovered the body building potential of the Johnny Jump-up and now spends as much time as his trainer will allow jumping up and down in the kitchen doorway. His is a unique technique in that he only uses his right foot to propel himself while his left foot acts as some sort of brake or rudder. Jumping wreaks havoc on his already peeling toes (the result of a virus he was too strong to let affect him accept for this one side effect, peeling fingers and toes) but no pain, no gain, he says. And besides, wearing socks hampers his effectiveness.

Step five: kick, kick, kicking. J finds it most advantageous to use his downtime in the swing or car seat to his advantage and has a kicking routine he likes to follow. This kicking is accompanied by wild grins or intense frowns, so it's hard to determine how useful he finds it, but he shows great dedication to this part of the regime because, as he notes wisely, you have to go big or go home.

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