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Sep 23, 2009

Change of Subject

There are some things of relative importance that I have not shared with you because I have been so busy hating my life as a Student Family Medicine Doctor. Instead of focusing on how I can’t stand what I’m doing right now or dwelling on how long I am away from Colin every day or how I’m beginning to think that Family Med should be shunned like witchcraft, let’s talk about the more important things in life. By this, of course, I mean Colin.

So Colin is a kid now. He can’t really be considered a baby anymore because of a few critical changes that have occurred in the last week or so. Here they are, in order of alarmingness:

1. He says “Dada”, “Mama”, and “Uh oh” with varying levels of specificity.

2. He now knows what is happening when I take something away, or don’t let him do something.


To begin at the beginning, he has moved beyond babbling into playing with the fire that is language. He has known for a while that certain sounds will elicit certain responses, but Colin has now evolved into blatant mimicry. When he drops something, I say “Uh oh!” like an idiot, but am immediately rewarded by a “Uh oh!” echo and a look in the direction of the dropped item. Additionally, he routinely looks at Patrick, who has been his primary caretaker this month, bursts into alternating giggles and gleeful “dadadadada!” This tends to make steam come out of my ears – what am I, chopped liver? – but I take it in stride as Patrick tries halfheartedly to get Colin to repeat “Mama” until I stomp off. Regardless of his Preferred Parent, he is learning to use sounds to communicate, something that is nothing short of astonishing.

Moving up the alarming scale, Colin has now fully grasped the meaning of “No” and the removal of the object of his momentary obsession. Those in the know, well, KNOW that this means the beginning of a troublesome time of childhood known as tantrums. Colin has shown himself to have a flair for the dramatic, routinely throwing himself to the floor, eyes clenched tight against the world and tragic wails filling the house. He has also taken to flinging himself at the glass door once it has been closed for the day and he laments loudly the outdoor time missed due to dinner and bedtime. His grip is like the Jaws of Life, only instead of being a force of good, Colin is simply a force of will. He will clutch the remote, for example, until his fingers are white and a light sheen of perspiration has appeared on his pale forehead. He furrows his brown in concentration and doesn’t make eye contact, presumably so as not to be distracted from his goal: Keep the Thing, then possibly Eat the Thing.

And finally, that which earns the title of The Most Alarming Development Yet is actually a rather subtle change, not all that new in and of itself. It started as a simple oversight. He forgot to hold on as he moved from the sofa to the chair. Then he ventured out a few steps. Then, in the excitement of a passing dog, he let go of my hand and toddled off after the poor pup. He only gets two or three steps before realizing that he is not holding on, at which time he promptly falls on his diapered bum. Am I making myself clear as to what is going on here?


1 Readers rock!:

Alykat said...

"a flair for the dramatic," is it? I wonder where on EARTH he got that! :)