My mind is utterly boggled by the rapidity of the changes in my now three-and-a-half month old son. Three weeks ago, he was basically a small, attention-consuming machine that ate, pooped, slept and screamed. Then, everything began to change in a hurry. I wrote recently about how I suspected having observed my son think for the first time, but that was just the beginning. Now, Dashiell has a personality!
One day, laying on our bed, Dashiell made a sound. This was nothing new, in and of itself; he made lots of sounds, always just before either falling asleep or beginning to scream. This time, when we heard the sound, we looked at each other with the usual apprehension, simultaneously fearful this was the beginning of a screaming fit and hopeful he was about to take a nap. Then, he made the same sound again. As we watched, he looked up at us, smiled, and followed it up with a third happy gurgle!
I’m sure he was very confused.
Since then, every day is something new. He giggles. He makes eye-contact, and tells you how he’s feeling with his eyebrows. When you eat, he watches, and mimics your chewing. He wakes up every morning yelling, not screaming, for someone to come and play with him, and rewards the first responder with thirty minutes or so of giggling, satisfied coos, and herculean attempts to communicate verbally. The sounds aren’t there yet, but the intonation and cadence is definitely attempted talking.
Before 8 PM, he is an unbelievably happy and attentive child (outside of when he’s demanding food). When he’s in a mood to play, he’ll hold your fingers in his hands and pull himself up to the sitting position over and over, and chatter and gurgle while he does it. Between 8 PM and whenever we get him to sleep, he is an angry god of hellfire and destruction, screaming for hours in creative new ways never seen before (for no apparent reason) until you are at the limits of your sanity (and ability to hear).
His latest addition? He flirts! In the last week, virtually every woman he’s spent more than a few minutes in the presence of has been treated to a big smile and giggle, followed by a coy turning away with half-lidded eyes. It’s like something a simpering debutante from a Victorian novel would do, and it’s unfathomably cute!