Posted by: emjb | July 3, 2006

Nathan Time, and other good times too

I’m not apologetic about the fact that I like to talk about my kid. Really, it’s more fun to talk about him than about whatever boring stuff I do every day. Nothing compares to the high drama of He’s Almost Crawling, Oh Wait, He’s Not! or Look, Another Tooth! I mean, when’s the last time I grew a new tooth or mastered a wholly novel form of mobility?

He’s doing this new thing where he buries his face in your shirt, mouth wide open, and slobbers/sort of bites you. We were mystified as to what this was about, then realized that we constantly pick him up and make little growly noises and kiss him all over to make him laugh. We think he’s trying to reciprocate, but, like a 14-year-old boy, he needs to work on his slobbery kissing technique.

He’s also come up with what we call his monkey face, where he purses his lips and breathes real hard at you, to make you laugh. Little ham. He also seems to be trying to sing along with us and with music, sometimes, and that makes me happy. I want music to be a language he’s familiar with, whether he has a talent for making it or not.

And in an inevitable development, during changing he will now grab his little-boy parts and squeeze them and giggle with glee. We call this his “Nathan Time” and always give him a few minutes before re-diapering.

He flops down at the end of every day exhausted by all the learning he’s done; he seems to see more and notice more and learn new syllables every day. He likes his picture books, and I hope he likes to read, like his daddy and me. We do all we can to talk to him and teach him. I find myself dredging up old children’s songs I didn’t know I knew to keep him entertained. We watch our Muppet Show DVDs, we watch Sesame Street. We play with stacking rings and practice putting things into his toybox and taking them out again. We look at the things I’ve hung on his walls; cutouts of stars and animals, an astronaut, a spaceship, flowers and bees and butterflies, birds and animals, even fruit (he likes the colors). I got them all at the dollar store because we can’t afford “real” nursery decorations, but he doesn’t seem to mind.

He and I, we’re good friends these days. My favorite place and time to read is his nursery in late afternoon, after he’s eaten but before bedtime, sitting in the rocker while the setting sun filters in through the curtains, and he plays on the floor. It’s absolutely the most peaceful part of my day, the kind of moment I dreamed of when I thought about having a baby.

The economics of having a kid have stayed tough, and we still struggle, and will for a long while yet. But just raising him, having him around and loving him, could not feel any more natural and easy.

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