So, babies. We have two of them. They have behaviors. Some of these behaviors make perfect sense. Like when Cask is insufferably miserable in the heat. The red cheeks. The sweaty hair. The incessant whining. God, this is my kid. I don’t even want people looking at me when I’m hot. Stop it! Stop looking at me! It’s too hot! I’m hooooot.
Or how Loyal will gamely try just about any food. And even though he didn’t like avocado last time he tried it, I thought I’d wait a few weeks and sneak some in. Here are some noodles! And some frozen peas! These are foods you love! Now how about a tiny bite of avocado, kid?
Nope. A little wrinkled nose and a look of disgust. The avocado pops out of his mouth and onto the floor. I told you I don’t like that shit, Ma.
So yeah, that’s my kid too.
But there are other behaviors that must come from someplace, but I don’t know where. They both love pillows. If there is a pillow on the floor, they will dive onto it and rest their heavy little baby heads. How do they know that’s what pillows are for? They’ve never had pillows in their cribs, and they don’t ever see us resting our heads on pillows. But somehow, they know just what to do with those soft fluffy things. Head resting and, well, hitting. Pillows are for hitting also.
They also hug and snuggle stuffed animals. It’s the cutest goddamned thing I’ve ever seen. When introduced to a new stuffed animal, they somehow just know to wrap their arms around it and hug it. They bury their little faces into the fur and make happy baby noises.
Where did they learn this? We didn’t teach them. Recently, Cask has blasted out of his shell. For the past month or so, he had a contemplative, grumpy demeanor. And now, suddenly, he’s become a little nut. He’s happier, he’s more energetic and he has a new “monster baby” behavior. He scrunches up his face and makes guttural little monster noises. He juts out his toothless bottom jaw and comes after us saying “Aheeyaheeyahaa!”
This came out of nowhere. We don’t act like this. He didn’t observe this behavior. He didn’t see it on TV. I can only imagine they are making this up as they go. They bounce when we give them noodles or cheerios or frozen peas to eat. They pant breathlessly when they are excited. They gape-mouth grin when they are happy. Babies are the purest, most authentic essence of humanity. Nothing they do is contrived.
I now understand, I do a lot of the things they do, not realizing I learned it from them.