My baby boy is starting to understand things.
He understands that if he brings me his snack pot, I will give him a snack. He knows that if he is thirsty, finding an empty cup on the shelf and pretending to drink will get me to fetch him some water. He knows that if he is tired and bored of playing, he can go stand by the bath to let us know he is ready for the bedtime routine to begin. He even knows how to choose a toy or a game for us to enjoy with him, dragging it across the room in a half crawl, and then throwing it at us from a unsafe distance.
But the main thing he understands, and the activity which has simply taken over my life, is Peekaboo.
How I miss picking up a book or a magazine without first having to hide behind it and poke my head out 7 or 8 times. I remember fondly the days where I could just leave a room, no jumping back round the corner or peeking round the door, or through the window. Imagine getting either him or myself dressed without making the well practiced exclamation of “Wherrrrre’s R? … THERE he is!”
I get it, it’s a bit fun. You cant see, and then you suddenly can. (Something he should be used to by now.) And truthfully, my heart skips a little every time he engages me in a game that inviolves vision. I could probably sit there playing Peekaboo with him from wake up to lights out without getting genuinely frustrated with the lack of variety. After all, it’s a much more preferable game to “Do you think he saw that?” which was mine and C’s favourite game of his first 6 months.
But it is weird how he never gets bored of the same activity over and over again. The same songs, the same snippets of baby einstein, the same games and puzzles. And actually, it’s quite charming. So once again, my son is teaching me something special. There are few things in life that adults really enjoy, no matter how much of it we get. Too many chinese take-outs, and however delicious the duck pancakes are, we need a few weeks of home cooked meals before reaching for the menu, where were often heard saying “Maybe I’ll try something new today.”. A favourite movie or book is usually best revisited after a break, and often without the same joy it’s first viewing gave us.
Even spending time with those we love. Our best friends can get on our nerves, we ask for some ‘me-time’ away from our spouses or family. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that, but it’s so different from how we acted as a baby. I would venture a guarantee that my 1yo never thinks about having ‘me-time.’ I bet he doesnt even understand the concept. Why wouldnt I want to be around him and entertaining him all 12 hours of the day that he is awake? After all, he wants me there all the time, surely I must feel the same way?I must LOVE Peekaboo! In terms of trying new things, that’s up to me to introduce, and more a case of him incidentely learning that he enjoys something, rather than going out of his way to discover new activities.
It’s an interesting distinction between us as kids and adults. At some point between childhood and adulthood, we decide that things are most pleasurable if we indulge in them more rarely and on special occasions. We stop wanting constant gratification and enjoyment and the same things over and over again. This is clearly a normal part of growing up.
But sometimes, even as an adult, you cant help wanting your best friend round for a whole day to watch back to back Friends episodes and order that same old chinese food.