Ethan has developed a few new skills. The first is pretty endearing. The second, not so much.
When he’s ready to be picked up from the floor, his high chair, jumper, crib, or swing, he has this way of opening his eyes wide and holding his arms up. He looks desperate. He leans forward and really drives home the message: “Pick me up now!”
How can you not pick him up when his arms are raised like that?
The other new skill is a kind of whine. It’s the kind of thing you don’t want to encourage, even if he probably has no idea what he’s doing. I’m sure it’s just one of the first of many times we’ll be asking ourselves, “Where did THAT noise come from?”
If I’m really going to be honest with myself, I’ll have to admit that whining in our home isn’t limited to a high pitched squeal that comes from Ethan. I do plenty of it myself, minus the squealing.
Ugh, Ethan only took a 15 minute nap!
Ack, Ethan won’t take his bottle!
Oh no, Ethan won’t fall asleep!
Yes, I’ve done quite well in the whining department. And whining is never endearing to anyone, be they adult or child.
Granted, there is something to be said for a little parental commiseration. We need to know that we’re not alone here, and it helps to hear the stories of other parents who have watched the minute hand slowly march around the clock while a squirming child refuses to sleep.
There are fine lines here. We can tell it like it is, but we can also cross into complaining in the blink of an eye.
And then I wonder what will happen some day when Ethan hears me complaining. What if he combines that with his squeal?
THAT would be something I’d complain about.
My main solace is that our memories have a remarkable power for sanitizing the past. I don’t really remember all that much about the insane evenings over the first four months when he kept waking up. It’s a vague memory now, where the happy times with him snuggled up on his swing on the front porch occupy the bulk of my thoughts about those days.
And so let it be. May I remember his wide eyes and eager arms. May that squeal pass quickly and fade away so that all I remember is a little boy who wants his daddy to pick him up.