Tuesday, May 24, 2011
5/6 of a Year
(Photo by Joee Wong, JW Photography)
The first months with my baby have been positively wonderful. He's been happy, and easygoing, and for the most part, non-mobile. Up until recently he's been content on his little alphabet mat, tearing up the pieces (I call him "Godzilla"), playing with his toys and chewing on anything in reach. Many of his friends started to crawl long ago, but my little Bento was perfectly content to sit tall on the floor and just observe the world around him. I had time, so much time, to clear the breakfast dishes and wipe the floor around his booster while he cooed and burbled beside me. I could even make cupcakes and clean up afterwards.
This is when it starts to get hard, right? Because I now have a mobile baby. He doesn't crawl in the traditional sense. He kind of slithers along the floor, pulling his body along the floor with his arms. He glides forward, pivots, changes direction, rolls over, rolls back, and moves on. I'm tempted to attach a Swiffer cloth to his belly -- two birds, one stone, blah blah blah. And he's fast. For weeks I'd been saying "we really need to baby-proof this pla--" and before I could finish the sentence he was moving, headed for the electrical cord he glimpsed under a piece of furniture, or my decorative vase full of sticks and glass marbles. Awesome. We have stairs and no baby gate (if anyone can advise us how to install a gate so that fat cats still have access to both floors I'd love to hear it.)
When you nod "yes" to Ben he shakes his head "no" in return. He plays peek-a-boo, but hasn't figured out yet that you're supposed to hide behind something. He blows kisses but never when you ask for them. If you're lucky enough to be holding him and he wants something, he leans for it, if it's within arm's reach, or he points imperiously in that direction, fully expecting your obedience. He insists on self-feeding, squishing the ever-favourite avocado through his hair, using cream cheese as a facial mask, rubbing butternut squash on his pants. He claps every time he takes a spoonful of food. My laundry has increased threefold. He can pull himself to standing with a little help from the coffee table, or his Zany Zoo, or anyone who has hands. Splashing in the bath is a favourite pastime. In the mornings, I can lie in bed for 20 minutes and listen to him rolling around in his crib, talking to himself or to his stuffed animals, and it makes me smile. Then when I go to his room and open the door, he stops what he's doing, looks up at me, pauses -- and breaks into a grin. It's the best way to start each day.
As I said, in a lot of ways things are getting a lot harder, but they're also getting a lot better. I get to hang out every day with the most hilarious, charming, huggable dude you will ever meet.
And that is the truth.