Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Departures & arrivals

This is what happens every day. My 15 month old, after sleeping through the night, wakes up and starts calling for me. I carry him from his crib to the bedroom, feed him, and he falls asleep again, usually waking again for the day sometime after I've left for work.

After I've fed him, I sleep again until I get up for work. The most poignant part of my day is waking up with him snuggled up against me, curled towards me, or with his head touching me while the rest of his body may be angled away. I've seen him in his sleep adjust and shuffle to be closer to me. He craves contact. I let him sleep on, leaving the darkened room to face the day.

When I return, I start to think of him on the short commute home. He in turn reportedly becomes restless half an hour before as he starts to anticipate me. The best part of my day is being reunited. Every working day we are separated, and then restored. The arrivals nearly make up for the departures.

Individual brilliance

At a baby shower on the weekend, we meet up with my friend and her daughter. Baby O is two months older than my son, and seems precocious in her language skills by comparison. She has charming manners and plays her part in routine niceties (please, thank you), can point to a dozen body parts, and is aware of others. She readily imitates words, can nearly count to three, and switches back and forth from Cantonese and English. She's a doll in her party dress among the doting ladies.

Meanwhile, my son is doing what he does best, exploring the environment and problem solving with objects. He is continually active: tearing a plastic cup into three jagged pieces, trying to open every door in the house, picking up all dropped pens and clutching them in his mouth, looking under the rug, attempting to swipe the other toddlers' snacks, ripping paper to shreds...AND eating with great gusto considerably more food than some of the portion-conscious guests.

Though his counterpart's verbal skills are impressive, I am reminded that my child's attentions have a different focus, and the only thing to do is promote his strengths, ensure he at least keeps up in other areas, and give him all the opportunities to be, as they say, all that he can be.

And yes, gender may be a factor in these observed differences.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sometimes a stranger

I am so familiar with your emotional ebb and flow. I know when you are content by how you lay your head on me. I recognize your rising frustration and how to defuse it. I can make you laugh over and over again. Still, sometimes, since you change moment to moment, on weekends we become reacquainted as I 'catch up.' On the school preschool play set, I am an arm's length away as you lie on your belly and go down the slide backwards.

I listen as you babble, pre-sleep, practicing blowing raspberries and laughing as I touch the tip of your tongue. As you sling both arms around me and hold on intently, willing me not to go, the purity of your desire brings tears to my eyes.

And when I think you've forgotten something, you wait until we have a quiet moment and show me you haven't. I kiss you on the cheek, and you blow me kisses back.

Fifteen months old and you astonish me every day.