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25 October 2006 @ 07:47 pm
From out of the comment depths...  

A little over a week ago, mrissa mentioned in passing she'd accomplished one of the tasks that had been on her to-do list for months: putting up pictures of her niece. I took a peek at said pictures and found I had to wax rhapsodic on the topic of babies. In case anyone who didn't see it in its original context is interested, here's my comment.


Ahhh, babies. Babies are wonderful, yes.

There was once a time when I didn't understand babies. I don't see what all the fuss is about. And it looks fragile—I'd best keep my distance. And little children terrified me. What's he saying? I don't understand. What does she want? Am I suppose to move? … just stand here? … talk to her? … give her something … or what? What if I guess wrong? Heck, they were even harder to understand, communicate with, and generally be around than adults, who were plenty hard enough. And teenagers…! Don't get me started on teenagers!

Then daughter Gavriella came along. She (mostly) patiently taught me (almost) everything I needed to know about babies … then, toddlers. After that, she was good enough to introduce me to the wonderful world of children—what a fascinating place that is! With so much to learn, such room to grow! (’Twas there I discovered that, for the most part, my development appears to still be stuck at the parallel play level—only occasionally do I find myself comfortably engaging in interactive play. *sigh*) Now I've gone back to paid work as a corporate employee (and third shift work at that) so I don't see her as much or for as extended times, but even so she's beginning to teach me much about teenagers.

Babies are wonderful. Toddlers are wonderful. (Went we would go for a walk, she would reach up and hold my hand, except her hand was too small to hold my entire hand so she'd hold my little finger. *wilt*) Little girls are wonderful. Little boys might be wonderful—I'm still not sure about them*. Teenagers are wonderful, although there are times they do their utmost to hide it.

My guess is that adults are probably wonderful too. The limited sample I've been working with seems to confirm that hypothesis and it's my hope that I'll soon be able to get myself out more often and do some field research.

Um. Sorry. I was inspired by the pictures of your niece. She's a wonderful *girl*baby*, she is! I'll just go away quietly now and leave you to your regularly-scheduled responsive comments.

___________________
* Joke, Moshe.

 
 
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one_undoneone_undone on October 26th, 2006 09:15 am (UTC)
Yeah, kids and babies can be intimidating at first. I had the same reaction initially, and then I realized (quite early on, really) that I was the one most in control of that interaction, and I couldn't screw it up too badly, so I just ran with it. I am at my best with little ones, because they are least judgmental, most portable, and easiest to deal with. They function on a basic level. They want the things we all need: food, warmth, love, a feeling of security. Those things I can provide. They don't mind my quirkiness. I am good with babies through preschool years because they take me at face value and accept the truth as the way of things. They are bound to say things like "you have really big boobies" or "your hair is long and fuzzy" and I will say "yep," and they'll leave it at that. They don't quibble. They just observe. You don't need to make excuses. You can't afford to be self-conscious around them. There's no lying to them, but there's no need. They really mean no harm. Once I understood that, I stopped letting my ego into the equation, and they were delightful, and I saw that my frizzy hair and crooked teeth didn't matter to them in the way those things mattered to me. What mattered to them was that I could sing them songs and give good hugs, and that made me the greatest person in the world in their eyes. It was then that I truly understood the old saying "the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world! :-D