My children like to stand.

When I was in the hospital after The Dormouse's birth, we realized right away that her preferred way of being held was upright in a standing position, with one of our hands under her feet. A classic example is this old photo of The Dormouse at six months old, when I was taking her to a swimming class:

This is how we carried her around for the first months of her life. She would fuss and fuss in any other position and finally trained us to carry her this way - literally from three days old on up until she started walking. Only she couldn't quite hold her head up on her own at the very beginning so we had to hold her like this and also support her neck until she developed neck muscles. It was tricky, but we managed.

I didn't realize that all newborns didn't do this until several months after The Dormouse was born when a girlfriend had a baby and I went to see them in the hospital. "Do you want to hold her?" she asked.

"Sure," and I picked her up in my accustomed put-your-hand-under-the-feet newborn hold. The baby's knees buckled under my hand. I tried again. Buckle. Unhappy baby. Once more, buckle. Finally, I held her in the classic Madonna and child in arms pose. She relaxed and drifted off to sleep. Hmmm, thought I, this is different.

Most kids do not stand up in your hand constantly. I know that now. I guess others come by that by second nature but I was a novice with kids who stuck around me for any length of time and I just had assumed that they all did this. What I learned as I spent more time around neonates, was that my kid was the oddity.

I finally came around to the idea that newborns and even most older babies did not stand up in your hand... until The Caterpillar was born and we got a repeat of the same to the second power. Around the office, she is known as "The Girl Who Does Not Bend." Oh sure, you can try and sit her down like a normal person, and you can even manage to get a photo or two, but it only lasts until she can find something to push her feet against and she manages to bend backwards at the waist until she is again standing. So what looked like a luxurious, relaxing bath in the previous post was only a moment and this is how I actually have to bathe her:

I'm blaming it on The KingofHearts' genes. I don't know why, but it just feels right.