Little Human

One of the coolest things about being a new dad is seeing all the little moments of discovery. With infants there’s this moment when “the lights come on” — for the first few weeks, you are in possession of a little lump of meat that eats, sleeps, and poops, and screams a lot while doing so. And then one day, out of nowhere, that little lump of meat becomes a little human being. It reacts to changes in the environment, reacts to people, and reacts to objects, and even to changes in itself. It’s utterly fascinating to watch.

Things that have noticeably changed:

Vocalizations. Eddy has different cries for “I’m hungry” and “I’m over-tired” and “I’m bored” — and yes, he noticeably gets bored. He’s also finding his voice, and amazed by it — when he makes one of his many vowel sounds, he gets a big smile on his face and starts making that noise again, and if you mimic him, he’ll frequently make the sound right back.

Intellectual responses. Non-emotionally, he responds to novel situations in ways that indicate curiosity — besides just fixating on certain things, you’ll see raised eyebrows (both doubly and singly), wrinkled foreheads, and so forth. You can practically hear the gears turning over in his head as he tries to figure something out.

Planning. He frequently attempts to do things, where you can tell what’s being attempted. Rolling over and sitting up are the big two areas where he seems to be making attempts. And when he falls short, you can see that he’s frustrated by the fact.

Object preferences. He’s at the stage where he’s grabbing everything within reach, which is cool, as he’s not mobile yet. He does, notably, fixate on a few things, including his “goony bird” toy, which is so riveting that putting it in front of him while he’s fussy will calm him down about 95% of the time.

Environmental awareness. Much more interest in what’s going on around him. Part of the “lights on” phase included a very strong interest in the ceiling and objects above him. Now he looks around at everything, and I’m starting to get the idea that he doesn’t like to be in the same place for long periods of time. Sometimes, when he’s fussing, he just wants to be picked up and walked around to the various parts of the house so he can see what he can see. He fixates on brightly colored stuff and is starting to notice the cats a lot more (much to their displeasure).

His brain is clearly wiring itself up, and holy crap, what an awesome sequence of events to watch.