Saturday, February 12, 2005

textures and shapes and noises

Oh yes -- she's that age. She loves to touch doorknobs and lightswitches; she rattles paper bags and slaps her flat hands down on absolutely everything to hear the noise. She puts her hands around the 'fridge door handles and PULLS. (She only succeeds in pulling herself closer to the refrigerator, but that's okay because she can see her reflection in the shiny black doors, and that still makes her happy.)

And that reminds me of the woman we met at the 'flu vaccine clinic this past autumn. Jacqui and I went with my mom, in the middle of the shortage, because my mom is in the You-Must-Have-It group. A lady we sat near during the three-hour wait played with Jacqui -- no one can resist her -- and ended up telling us about her Precocious Nephew. Her Precocious Nephew apparently could not only walk reliably by ten months, but he had also discovered a way to wedge a wooden spoon into the refrigerator door to open it, take out bottles, and drink them without anyone knowing. He'd hide the empty bottles under the couch.

When someone tells me stories like that, all I can do is nod and smile and think "How stupid do you think I am?" or alternatively, "How stupid can you possibly be?" Because there is no way a ten-month old would be able to open a refrigerator even if he HAD discovered the principles of leverage, and if he COULD, he WOULDN'T know to hide the empty bottles somewhere! AND, additionally, even if all of these things WERE happening, where was his MOTHER while he was doing these things?

My disbelief had to have been visible, if not palpable, but the woman kept gushing about this boy, who at the very least was establishing a bad relationship with food, if her stories could be believed. Which, if you hadn't caught on yet, they couldn't.

But that brings us back to my Jacqui, who yesterday morning was patting her tongue with her hand, and then used that hand to push her tongue back into her mouth with an air of true discovery.

I'm revising her status, by the way. She's no longer my SqueakyBird. Now she is the SqueakyCub. This is because if I'm lying on my back, she waits til I'm apparently unsuspecting and then POUNCES, grabbing my nose so that I'll say "beeeeeeeeeep!" in varying degrees of amusement and/or pain, depending on where her little fingernails have embedded themselves. Sometimes she'll mix it up and pounce on my belly instead, leaving drooly kisses and zerberts in her wake.

I'll let you know when she figures out how to open the refrigerator and make coffee.