It happened a little more than a month ago, but I’ve been too tired to sit and write about it. Even though writing a short post would only take me a half-an-hour, and I’ve got forty-eight of those in each day. Even though I had the time to voraciously read through all of Joe Abercrombie’s books (starting with “The Blade Itself ") with a white-knuckled and embarrassingly desperate need for book-escape. Even though I feel like I’m fibbing when I include “a writer” on my mental CV, because I’d rather browse YouTube for cool a cappella versions of annoying pop songs (h/t Josh Smift).
Anyhow, the moment I’m trying to jot down before it leaves me had to do with Sydney. Before her half-birthday, which we celebrated Bob-Graham style with a picnic in the back yard, Syd seemed your pretty average infant: “cute,” “likes: milk, snuggling, crapping herself with no warning.” Her needs were pretty standard, and most of our interactions with her involved one of a short list of need-fulfillment-activities: feeding, burping, soothing, crap-removal.
But then, right around six months, it happened: she started displaying intentionality. The change happened quickly, but I might not have noticed it enough to comment on it, had I not snapped the watermelon photo, here. Maybe it was just a momentary quirk of facial expression, but what I saw that evening and in steadily increasing frequency since then is discernment. She sees something and reaches to grab it. When she’s bored in the kitchen, she becomes visibly more engaged when I give her a set of stainless steel measuring spoons to handle, gnaw and sniff. (The other day she even managed to take one off its keyring: go figure.) Like her sister before her, Syd thinks food – all food, any food – is awesome, and will growl like some sort of rabid dolphin to indicate that I’m not bringing pizza, broccoli, soup, tofu, chicken or sweet potatoes to her Sarlacc-like maw quickly enough. (She has not yet figured out pincer-grip-style kung fu with her hands, so she instead palms bits of food, squeezes her fists shut and then smears them somewhere around her mouth, blaming us when her technique fails. Because we’re jerks.) She’s got a finely-honed stranger awareness, and yells about it a lot more than Piper ever did. Gratifying when it’s my face she smiles at; a lot less gratifying when she freaks out as I step out of the room to get a glass of water.
Anyhow, the transition from 100 percent needy even to 99 percent needy and one percent intentional struck me as notable, even though I’m too tired to do it justice now.
(h/t to Josh Smift for the a cappella “Never Ever Ever” version, though I’m not sure thanks are in order for such an insidious earworm.)