I remember putting Briar on her belly for tummy time for what all the books and magazines screamed was critical for neck muscle development and general baby well being.
You felt like…
(ok, I felt like, I don’t know about other people)
a lousy parent when I’d get through about 45 seconds and think,

“Ok, enough of that!” as she’d strain and grunt and generally look at me as if to say, “What? Holding my head up and doing any number of other miraculous things every day isn’t enough for you?”

I exaggerate, but seriously, Briar did perfectly fine. Nursed like a champ, held her head up, sat up, walked early, took to eating solid foods, sleeping (eventually) and I don’t think I (or we, I don’t remember Sean enjoying it either)
gave her the “suggested” duration of tummy time each day.

We figured out pretty early on that if we listened to Briar and to our own instincts, that we’d get by just fine…

except for that one time when Sean had to really threaten to slap me to call me down when Briar started to choke/wheeze in bed. I was B-movie, slapstick hysterical and nothing was calming me down. It just took that one time to teach me to stay cool and trust myself, Briar, Sean and the situation.

Anyway, my point is we have entered a new kind of daily tummy time exercise. We have introduced the concept of “baby” associated with my belly. Pretty immediately Briar started referring to my belly whenever it was uncovered with a delighted “Bay-Be!” We were thrilled. Then she started playing with her belly button, sometimes saying “belly” and other times saying “bay-be”.
Then there was the time Sean walked across the room shirtless to fetch a clean shirt from a hamper.
Briar sat up, pointed at Sean and screeched “BAY-BEE!” It was pretty darn cute!

Now we talk to her about the baby inside of me and about her being a big sister. We comment when she shares, or is gentle with the animals, letting her know what a great big sister she is ging to be. When we ask her if she wants to kiss the baby she gets a huge grin on her face and grandly goes about kissing my belly, sometimes even rubbing reverently and laying her face down for a moment or two while she makes a sound like when you are hugging someone tightly.

I am sharing some Briar belly time pictures.

Kissing the baby.

Talking to the baby.

Dealing cards to the baby.

Letting Barnaby say hello.

I am continually fascinated and delighted
by what Briar finds entertainment in,
note the muffin pan.

That’s it for today. Time to go to bed for some not quite on my tummy time.