Life is so… changey.
For instance, today I sat Henry in his highchair. I rushed to strap him in, singing and performing distraction dances, and hoping he didn’t realize what was happening. Complaint shrieks usually accompany this activity, you see. I was armed with my usual arsenal of toys to keep him “content enough”, so that I could slice a few peaches to complement my oatmeal. Handing him his chewy keys, I squared a peach on the cutting board. Then I lined up three toys next to the cutting board, so I’d be prepared for most anything he could throw my way.
As if starting the clock, I jiggled the first toy in my lineup. Rattle, rattle, rattle. I made my first peach incision. Rattle, rattle, rattle. Second incision. Rattle, jingle, jingle.
So far so good.
It’s not that I can’t tolerate his cries (because TRUUUUST ME, America, I tolerate lots o’ cries on the hourly)- it’s that I want to eat my effing oatmeal to the sounds of a happy baby for a change. Plain and simple.
By the time I’d finished de-fuzzing my peach, I realized something magical was happening.
Henry was content.
No dancing, no rattling, no singing required.
Instead, he was focused on my juice drenched cutting board and the fleshy peaches destined for my oatmeal.
But maybe, just maybe, that was enough?
Instead of speed-dunking my peaches in the oatmeal, whisking my *almost* six month old from his highchair before he engaged in a full on baby temper tantrum, and eating my breakfast one bite at a time for over an hour, MAYBE, we could just… sit?
What the heck. Worth a shot.
I mixed the peaches into my oats, explaining each action in depth, and for the very first time, Henry absorbed every detail. Appreciatively.
He was interested. His eyebrows reacted as my spoon clinked on the side of the bowl. His fingers gently massaged his chewy keys, but his eyes focused on me like I was made of fireworks.
His face flexed with flirts and inquisition and sheer amazement. Watching me eat breakfast was… enthralling.
It seems like yesterday (oh wait, it was yesterday) Henry was in a constant state of turmoil. I could catch moments of peace, but they were the result of an exorbitant amount of effort on my part. The peaceful moments were the byproduct of my sweat- not the byproduct of Henry just “being”.
But now? I was sitting at the breakfast table with the baby I dreamt of my whole life. He cooed at me as I described the flavors of my meal and even followed my finger as I pointed toward the window and remarked on the sunny morning. We engaged- our relationship nearly reciprocal.
When I was done, rather than rush to move him to his next activity, I replaced his chewy keys with his spinning wheel and turned my back to wash dishes.
He sat quietly, occasionally spinning his toy and smacking his hands on the tray of his highchair.
When I finished the dishes, I unbuckled my baby and swept him into an abrupt and aggressive hug. I kissed his neck, squeezed his chubby body, and squealed my appreciation to anyone who might care to listen.
My Chicken is changing. In the past week, he’s started to sit up in a tripod fashion, he’s rolled over from his back to his belly, he’s started sleeping with one arm out of his swaddle, and he’s learned he can just be.
I want to press “pause”. Already.