New-born babies are not terribly exciting – except for the fact that they are new additions to the family. But as people, as beings, they can be just a bit tedious. They just want; to be fed, to be burped, to be changed, to be cuddled… the list goes on. To be fair, new parents are so jolted out of their regular existence that they are probably quite grateful that babies don’t demand to be entertained from day one. For the first few weeks new parents are so sleep-deprived and utterly exhausted that a sleeping baby is the best baby.
But then, after that first gummy smile that you are sure is not just wind, their ability to interact and respond to outside cues are one of the most amazing things. They just grow in leaps and bounds. And before you know it, you have a real little person on your hands – complete with personality and sense of humour! After many months, you have that little chubby-cheecked cherub that is the picture everyone sees in their minds eye when they think of babies.
It’s six months down the line and I have had immense fun in watching her discover her hands and figuring out how to use them. Her big brother used to have intense conversations with his hands and kept himself entertained for hours on end.
With the most interesting, colourful toys at her disposal, her favourite toys remain her toes and a piece of silver sachet from the inside of her rice cereal. I get nothing done around the house, because when I’m not busy coming up with ridiculous antics to make her giggle, I find myself just watching her discover the world. She tries to engage in conversation with anything that moves, smiling and gurgling happily at the bemused dogs who happily indulge her with a slobbery kiss.
At the same time, big brother is making grand attempts to assert himself. Although frustrating, taking a step back from the emotions and noticing some of the reasons for his angry outbursts are enlightening.Trying to explain the terms of “time out” to him at the dinner table and waiting for him to get bored with my sermon, I get instead a very earnest look and:”Tell me another story, mommy”. Something in me breaks when I realise that the reason for his many outbursts at the dinner table was merely because he was feeling left out of the conversation…
I have had many intellectual exchanges in my life, but none match up to the earnest intensity of conversing with a two-year-old. I am amused and amazed at the way he views the world and how he makes sense of it all. He tells me that he would like to break his toys so that he could put them back together again. I suspect there will be many “whys” from this young one.
Meanwhile, the baby is giving me that half-amused, half wizened baby-look just before she wrinkles up her nose and erupts into a fit of giggles again. She is also discovering her voice and is experimenting with different sounds.