Persistent Baby’s Into Everything
Petals is nothing if not determined – as evidenced by this webcomic I drew for Firetower’s website. Here is a picture of The Boy attempting to write with The Baby in his lap.
It ain’t happenin’.
She grabs at everything she sees. Anything we’re touching, she wants to touch. And she isn’t satisfied to explore the thing in front of her. No no no no no. She must go for the thing that’s just out of her reach, the thing that’s been hidden away from her. Her life isn’t eat, sleep, play – it’s eat, sleep, study. It’s not like you can put her in your lap with one of her favorite toys and then use your computer. You can’t even put her on the floor with one of her favorite toys and use the computer whilst hoping that she won’t notice.
She will notice. She will reach for it. And she will grab, climb, pull, twist, and wriggle until she gets it. If you move her hands, she will just put them right back where they were. It’s exhausting! When she gets it, she will first bang on it. Then, she will turn it over a few times to inspect all sides of it. Then she will begin to nom on it. Finally, she will begin to rip it apart. This is the process that she goes through with everything, from Rock Band drum sets to Cooking Light magazines.
She is also an intense little busybody. She is demanding when it comes to food or sleep (or not sleeping). She hates being interrupted by silly things like diaper changes or the need to wear clothing. Buckling up requires a special buckle up song. Routines are paramount. We’ve been fighting over the plastic outlet covers for weeks now.
I’ve been assured that all this falls within the scope of “normal” baby behavior.
I know that you’re not supposed to compare your kid with another person’s kid – but it’s hard to do when other people talk about how chill their babies are. To be fair, Petals isn’t “intense” all the time. She likes to sing and dance, she can entertain herself and she also interacts with other babies. She’s pretty mild-mannered in the grocery store, because she enjoys riding around and watching stuff…it would just seem that she’s easily bored. And I actually get a kick out of watching her do her thing…y’know, when it doesn’t involve trying to ingest electrical cords or Scotch tape.
People tell me that this means that she’s smart, and that these character traits, though exhausting, are ultimately positive ones. She is inquisitive, she is intelligent, she is determined, she is focused, she is tuned in to the world around her. Of course, I don’t want a daughter who is merely and is okay with being ignored! Of course I want a kid who is paying attention to stuff and things and junk.
I mean, I look at her and wonder where my students lost this urge to know and to do. Was it adolescence? Did institutionalization beat it out of them? Or is it just part of general American anti-intellectualism? I don’t want her to lose her persistence. I don’t want her to lose her drive to know and to discover. I mean, I almost want to hit myself for saying this but…I’m kinda hoping she’ll stay this way forever. (Not the life-threatening exploration part, though…just the “Hey, that looks cool, lemme find out more about it on my own without anyone spoon feeding me the answers,” part.)