Monday, August 31, 2009

Aw, he thinks he's people

My son - for this post, let's call him, oh, Skelter - is on the very cusp of his first birthday, which is a strange intersection between still being a baby and growing into a toddler, or possibly a two-foot tall crazy old man. I try not obsess over things, neither the new things he does (early for his age?) nor the things he doesn't do (is he hitting milestones on schedule?) because I don't want to be one of those parents, but in the past twenty-four hours he had a couple of moments which I have to share.

Last night my wife Galatea and I treated ourselves to take-out, so dinner was Afghan food and Mexican beer. That in and of itself tends to make for a pretty good night. Our local kabob place is really great - I'm pretty much always in the mood for their food, but sometimes I think we order from them just so we can check in, make sure they're still in business by giving them a little more of ours. And Mexican beer is always welcome in our house (yet it never stays for long, hmmm).

Stay thirsty, my friends.
At any rate, Skelter was having cheese for dinner, along with a few pieces of naan bread we had shredded for him. He was iffy on the naan at first but he warmed up to it. And eventually I got tired of tearing off bites for him so I just held out a large piece of bread and let him take his own bites. He has seven tiny teeth and they weren't quite enough to cut through the chewy crust, so mostly he was just sucking on the naan, but it was still great.

Ever since he came home from the hospital I've been looking forward to the casual sharing of food. I love food and I never mind sharing, and the better the food is the more likely I am to want someone else to try and enjoy it as well. Especially if the someone else has never had the food in question before. Many was the time that I was holding Skelter in one arm while balancing a plate on the opposite knee (he didn't really like being put down, nor did Galatea and I like putting him down, so one of us was holding him pretty much round the clock, and who started it is one of those chicken/egg things I guess) and I had to stop myself from offering my two-month-old son a forkful of whatever I was eating. In the last month or so he's moved off baby food and on to real food, but there's still very little spontaneous sharing, because anything he eats has to be baby-bland, and cut up into very small pieces, and cooled down to room temperature. Luckily the naan was already bland and heat-neutral, and circumventing the cutting step by just letting him chomp on a corner of the same piece I was eating was another step in the right direction. What can I say, it's the little things in the big picture.

But as I said leading off, in many ways he's still a baby. When he wakes up first thing in the morning, he's pretty cranky until my wife nurses him. This morning she reclined on the couch for the nursing and I sat at her feet drinking my coffee. Skelter finished feeding and, as usual, at that point he was all sweetness and light, sitting up and looking around with a big goofy grin. He held up one of his hands, which is usually just a random gesture, but Galatea very gamely asked him "High five?" and held up her hand.

It is important to note at this point that we have been trying to teach Skelter to high five since forever, and he doesn't get it. Except today, apparently, he did. He smacked mommy's hand, she laughed, he laughed, and then he turned toward me. So I said "High five!" and held my hand up, and he smacked it. More laughing ensued all around and he turned back to his mom. He must have gone back and forth ten times giving us alternating high fives. Again, it's the little things. I don't think there's the slightest remarkable element to this story, but it was a first and it got my Monday off to a pretty good start, and that's something I don't get to say very often.

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