Everything comes from movement
which is to control my body in space,
is something I learn to do all by myself.
No one can teach me to sit or to crawl or to walk.
Only I can achieve this, through my own effort
and in my own time.
Learning to move is extraordinarily important for me.
It is not just about the ability to move,
on which the whole of my future life will hinge.
But in learning to move,
I am also learning to learn.
It is through movement
that I lay the foundation of my intelligence.
And the way I experience movement
shapes the attitude with which I approach life.
It takes long hours of practice for me to learn
to harmonise the movements of my muscles.
My muscles exist,
but they do not yet know how to work together.
Muscles move in pairs.
Who will teach one to contract
when the other expands?
Who will translate my desire to caress your face,
mother whom I love,
into electric sparks that leap between nerve-endings
till they reach the right muscles, in the right order?
Only I can bring my growing body
under the control of my developing mind.
Much as you love me, mother and father,
you cannot teach me,
or learn for me.
But you can support my learning.
Give me space to move.
Put me on the floor.
The Movement Mat
The nicest space for me to move
is an ordinary mat on an ordinary floor.
It need not be thick so long as it is firm.
I need to be able to move when I press against the mat, and not sink into it.
Can you find a heavy rug covered with a sheet?
That will do for me.
Do not feel obliged to spend your money on ‘Baby Gyms’
and other such inventions.
They are too loud for me.
Listen to the quiet voice inside you,
which tells you how exquisitely sensitive I am.
My senses are completely open
to the richness of the world around me.
I watch the motes of dust dance in the sunbeam,
my eyes trace the shadows along the cracks in the wall.
I hear the rustle of your fabric as you lean against me,
my senses explode with your beautiful smell.
All I need in the first weeks
is a simple black-and-white Munari mobile.
Place it above my movement mat
to help me practice focusing.
Its lines are elegant,
Its precision absolute.
I suspect you will be secretly delighted
to no longer pretend those
garish plastic monstrosities sold in baby stores
are a tasteful addition to our living room.
What size mat should you buy?
If we have the space for it,
a queen-sized one will last until I am 9 months old,
when I start to crawl at which time
I shall no longer need it.
Where should you place the mat?
Along a wall
in the room I am going to spend most of my waking hours.
If possible, place it in a corner,
against two walls.
Boundaries make me feel safe.