I can’t believe how the time flies. I have to find a daycare, and a job, and rejoin the working world in a few months, but I just want to stay home and cuddle my baby.
Must learn how to control time. Am putting that on the to-do list.
Watching Babby discover life is amazing.
There was the day he learned how to open his own hands. He was dealing with the constantly aggravating problem of trying to get at the remaining bit of food clutched tightly in his fist after gnawing off the bit that was sticking out.
One day, he opened his hand, pressed it flat against his mouth, and gobbled that last bite. He chewed in triumph as he stared at his hand, opening and closing it again and again, marvelling at his new-found control.
That last bit of food never bothered him again (although that last bite tends to be a doozy, and he usually ends up chewing it for half an hour like a wad of gum until I stick my finger in his mouth and sweep it out of there while he protests loudly).
Then there was the day he discovered clapping. He was waving his hands around and they happened to hit each other, and I burst into a round of applause. He grinned at me, and stared at his hands, and tried to repeat his performance. It took a couple of tries, but he managed it again, and PH and I clapped back at him, telling him what a clever baby he was. He did it again, and again, and he loves the attention he receives.
We still can’t prompt him into it, though. He doesn’t take requests, yet.
He figured out how to wave this week, and he spent many minutes doing it enthusiastically while I cheered and waved, too.
Unfortunately, he will only wave at one person: his own reflection. While he now lifts his hand in joyful salute at the sight of “Babby-in-the-mirror”, he still just stares at us with a polite smile if we try to get him to wave at us.
He will give a high five, though, if he’s not too distracted. While high-fiving us is a fun game in the house, he tends to leave us hanging when there are other people watching.
I still love his relationship with food.
So far, he has not discovered food that he won’t eat.
He has gobbled salmon (I hate fish), and spinach, and chickpea curry, and guacamole, and a zillion other things.
We had to warn some friends who were babysitting him a couple of weeks ago not to eat anything in front of him that they weren’t willing to give him, because when he sees food come out he clenches his fists and starts screeching like a dying velociraptor until the food is delivered safely to his pudgy fists. It’s really charming.
What I can’t figure out, though, is how he knows what food is.
I mean, this kid puts everything from dog fur to wet diaper covers into his mouth, so clearly his idea of “food” must be vague… and yet, if I walk into the room with a strange object, he doesn’t react. He only does the argh-you-have-food-i-eat-it screaming when it’s food. He does it with food he has never seen before.
He did it when he spotted PH buying corn dogs at the midway. How did he know that those corn dogs were food? Corn dogs certainly don’t look like anything edible. So how did he make that mental leap?
Brains. They astound me.
That’s the most amazing thing at all – Babby is a living, breathing, thinking person.
Sure, he thinks that things like Daddy walking into the room and Mommy making fart noises are funny, and that a piece of plastic wrapper is the last word in entertainment, but he is thinking about the world, and watching it, and processing it, and trying to make sense of it all. He’s trying to discover this body that he was born into, and watching what the people around him do, and thinking “so this is what people do.”
He is constantly trying to get at books, trying to figure out what I find so endlessly fascinating about them.
He watches us brush our teeth with fascination, although he’s still not thrilled when we try to brush his.
He wants to eat what we eat, be where we are, and touch what we touch.
In short, he thinks he’s people, and it’s adorable.
And I keep marvelling and thinking:
We made you, but we don’t own you.
We gave you your body and your name, and that was our divine privilege, not our prerogative.
We must care for your body until you can do it yourself.
We must teach you your name until you can speak it with pride.
We must show you the world until you can explore it yourself.
We must give you what you need, but not always what you want, until you learn the difference.
You owe us nothing.
We owe you everything, and it is the most joyful debt we could ever owe.