I’m still having a hard time recovering from all of those exclamation points last week and my obsession with you is becoming borderline unhealthy. I’ve become one of those people that wants to eat babies. You know the kind: they hover over infants with a gleam in their eye not unlike the ones reserved for creme brûlées behind the glass case of my local market. And it’s happened to me. I want to chew on you daily, to munch on those massive cheeks that are all! mine! for! the! taking!
See? The exclamation points will not cease.
This week, you uncovered a fourth sound from the depths of your belly – the one your father and I like to call pterodactyl. It sounds precisely like what I’m assuming a prehistoric bird produces: high-pitched squeals of delight when he learns the Tyrannosaurus Rex is extinct and he can now fly through the air unaffected by large mouths with disproportionate arms. This makes four sounds total:
1. Your 0-60 cry that you reserve for use only when your father puts you to bed for the evening and I’m teaching an online class and the students start sending chat requests asking me if my baby is jumping off the high dive already and OMG how are you guys swimming in the dead of winter?
2. Your tiny pouts that sound like a 1989 Oldsmobile attempting to start up after years of misuse and teenage havoc. These pouts could likely escalate to Sound 1 if your particular desire isn’t met within three minutes flat. Or if we talk about how rad it is that you never wail anymore like you did when you were a newborn. That’s also a quick way to introduce Sound 1.
3. “Boof.” You make this one often, and I think it’s your attempt at motor-boating but you don’t have quite enough saliva to gain the full effect.*
4. The aforementioned pterodactyl.
*I’m thanking myself that you haven’t turned into a drool factory yet, and I’m quite sure this delay is nature’s way of rewarding me for the sheer amount of spit up you produce daily. It’s almost as if God knows I can only handle so many fluids escaping you at a time. So omniscient, that one. Thank you, Lord. Amen.
Diaper changes are crazy fun these days, partly because of Sound 4 and the accompanying flailing of the arms that commence the moment your onesie grazes the changing pad. In those moments, you transform into a true pterodactyl, attempting to take flight as your arms flap and flap and flap and your legs perform a unique step not unlike that of a traditional Dutch folk dancer. It fills my heart with love (and my hands with pee, as you often wriggle your way out of a diaper in the process).
We then sing Itsy Bitsy Spider together while I clean us up, but I change the words so I get to nuzzle your neck while still making rhetorical sense. This makes you belly laugh, which makes me melt into a pile of mush by your dresser and then you make your pterodactyl sound and it awakens me from my state of pooled liquid into the present day.
And I realize how magnificent you are, making me transform from solid to liquid with one simple fit of laughter. I don’t know much about chemistry (or is it physics?), but I’m assuming that’s not an easy task. Just promise me one thing: when you’re older and have learned to use a straw and you find me in my liquid pool next to your dresser once again, please drink me up so I can stay with you forever and ever and always.