Generally, parents keep a close watch on their children in order to encourage (or discourage) certain behaviors, especially during the first year or so when there is such a high concentration of developmental milestones. Ted and I are in the middle of one right now with Tessa: the ol' roll-over. For weeks, she's been arching her back and kicking up one of her legs, sure signs that she's getting closer. To speed things along, Ted has laid down next to her with toy after toy, placed just far enough out of reach to entice her to do what needs to be done in order to lay claim. I have slowly rolled her hips to one side to get her used to the sensation, and her Grandma Becky even propped her up on her side with several rolled-up towels and then placed a few brightly colored toys just barely out of arm's reach to see what would happen.
Then Ted brought her into our room this morning after a nice long rest. As we played with her and talked to her, she realized that she was hungry, so she started fussing a bit. Ted promised her that Mama would feed her - "she just has to get ready." As a joke, we put her on her back, yet allowed her to see my then bare boobie. Within ten seconds, that girl just flipped right over!
Let this be a story to us all, that we can do anything as long as we have the right motivation. And as long as that motivation involves good food or an engorged fun bag. Or both.