Alright, people. I'm going to keep this short, sweet, and serious. (Well, I'll shoot for two out of the three, anyway). The topic at hand: the adult-human fascination with poking.
You all think it's so gosh darn cute to play your little games of Name-That-Body-Part every time I try, heaven forbid, to find a comfortable position in this shrinking little sack of fluid. You squish and poke and prod, feeling out distinctive shapes and textures, guessing what position I could possibly be in, what kind of acrobatics I might be up to. You knead at my rear like a knot of bread dough and cup my head in your hands Shaquille O'Neal-style while you try to feel the contour of my skull--if, in fact, that is my skull you're grasping at. Well, I'm putting my foot down! (Or up, I guess, into Mom's ribcage.) Mom, Dad, Doctors all, someone named Kitty (who daily tries to fluff me like a pillow), and anyone else who wants to cop a feel at any tiny parts from crown to rump, I've had about enough.
Imagine yourself for a moment, if you will, having already been placed inside of an opaque human-sized water balloon, you are hurled into the sea, where you float upside down and aimlessly. Your new quarters so tight that you must remain curled up, knees to your chest, your spine locked in a crooked crescent shape. The balloon is tensile but stronger than you, and you're only allowed brief moments of reprieve, stretching one exhausted limb at a time.
As if this all doesn't sound exhilarating enough, now imagine that each time you stretch out your aching limbs, joints, spine, or somehow find a comfortable napping pose, sea creatures begin to swarm around your bobbing little home. You can't see them, so you don't even know they're there, until you take advantage of a quick stretch break and, one by one, they pick you up, lodgings and all, and squish you like a stress ball. But I just want to work this cramp out of my leg, you think, as each creature takes his turn quashing your efforts, working you back into a cramped little orb.
Uncomfortable yet? Welcome to my world--almost. I forgot to mention that you'd also be covered in wax and eating through a tube.
My point? Keep your hands to yourselves! Please.
And, in case the desire to guess-and-check gets too strong to repress--you know, that one urging you to discover which side is up and what exactly that particular tumor is growing out of Mom's belly--I'm here to dispel any temptation by filling you in. I'm basically stuck in a perpetual headstand. As you may have gathered from my little exercise in imagination above, my current accommodations are a little too tight to make any serious rearrangements. So, that lump on the bottom--that's my head, and will remain so. Mom's kind of touchy, so very few people actually have access to that particular lump anyway, and you won't be missing out on much by following the new "no touching" rule I've installed. Unless, of course, you were super pumped to pinch my rump, which is most likely that pulsing protrusion in the northern belly region (and are you honestly ready to admit that you're just dying to touch my tush?). Every once in a while, it might be an elbow or a foot--but again, not so special.
So, in short (like, 20-22 inches from head to toe or so), I'd like to remind you of Baby Harper Law Number 1: Hands off. A soothing rub here and there is o.k. Encouraged, in fact. But don't let those pointy little digits of yours wander too far.
Make it happen.