Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Fun day, more or less.

I wonder what The Boy thinks and feels these days. He's seven months old, as of Sunday, and I can see his cognitive functions developing. He's got a wonderful sense of focus and an amazing curiosity about the world around him. He likes to see what he can see, to experience lots of different things by grabbing them, touching them, hitting them and putting them in his mouth.

I knew some girls like that, in high school. But, I digress.

Each day, I watch him start to understand things a little bit more. He's starting to understand the food thing, and he's starting to understand that the whole "eating" thing is pleasurable and a way to cure those terrible hunger pains. He's starting to understand the whole communication thing, as he tries to talk to us all the time now. Today, we were watching a band class, and when the kids stopped playing, he said a nice, long sentence of instruction to the students - it was normal baby babbling, but entertaining and cute because of the timing. So, I think he gets the whole speaking thing as a concept, even if he can't do it yet.

Heck, he even understands that remote controls are symbols of power and authority in the house - at least, the way he throws his entire body at any nearby remote control would indicate that he wants them like they're chocolate. I'm the remote control hound in the family - I suppose that that's a tradition male duty, as I start to shake when my wife has the remote and I'm watching tv with her. Even in the bedroom, even when I'm not home, the remotes are kept on my nightstand. The Boy understands that, sort of, and goes after them full-bore. It's actually cute, because he really does throw his entire body into getting the remote control.

If I wanted to speed up his intentions of crawling, I'd put the remote control in front of him and let him go for it. I've seen him, a couple of times, do a full-body dive to try to get a remote. The problem with that is that it usually ends in a face plant, and I'm not too thrilled about that prospect. My wife would kill me if he had to get stitches because I was teasing him with the remote control.


I wonder about what he's thinking and feeling nowadays. For instance, this morning, after our nap, his feeding and some real quality playtime (side note: my favorite, favorite time of day - and some of the happiest moments in my lifetime, to be honest - come in that magical time as he's waking from his morning nap. He's fun, happy and playful then like no other time), I spent about a half hour-ish puttering around the house getting ready for our excursion today. I folded a half basket of laundry, put away my laundry and the towels/sheets from last week, stacked & stored the laundry baskets, threw a snack / lunch together for me, put a couple of bottles in a cooler for him, made up the diaper bag and charged the iPod with today's news podcasts. Some of that was okay with The Boy, particularly putting him in his temporary playpen, occasionally known as a big laundry basket, with him sitting & a couple of toys in with him. He's amused by that, as it helps him sit up and gives him things right there to play with and not drop. But, he was quite upset by the time I was done, because some of the things that I did (like my shower & dressing myself) meant that I wasn't holding him, might not be in the same room with him and definitely not paying full attention to him.

What's he thinking? What's he feeling? I know he's upset, and I know that - most of all - he just wants to be held by me as I walk around. He hates being by himself. Does he know that I'm running those household errands? Does he know that, when I walk out of the room, that I'll be back in a second?

He probably doesn't. Object permanence is an advanced concept for a baby, and one that he's not going to truly understand for a while. This is why peekaboo is so much fun for the baby: when the towel / sheet / blanket / whatever is pulled from his eyes, he's excited and happy to see that Daddy has appeared out of nowhere. I guess that he gets scared, when I'm in the shower & he's in his crib, or on our bed, or in his chair, that I'm going to disappear and never come back, leaving him to be all by himself.

That would scare the crap out of me, too. Hmm. I know he'll learn; I just hope I don't teach him the wrong things about it.


Flossie Teacake said...

I think your description of your son is fantastic. I have a little boy just a couple of weeks younger and his dad also puts him in the laundry basket! We also have the forward diving thing here, for the remote and anything else shiny (mobile phone, camera, laptop). You sound like you're doing an amazing job as a daddy.

Musical Daddy said...

Thanks for the kind words!

That's nice to hear, about the remote diving. I think that the remote controls have replaced that traditional tools of power from our older civilizations - sceptres, swords, crowns, etc.