the baby theory of relativity
Kids provide a good, objective lesson in relativity. For example, nine months seems like an impossibly long time to carry a baby to term. Having turned nine months today, Munchkin has now spent as much time out of the womb as in utero, and it certainly seems like the last nine months have flown by a lot faster than the first.
We’ve discovered several other axioms of the baby theory of relativity along the way. Watching Munchkin expand his gross motor skills, we can’t help but be amazed at how much quicker he has become with each new developmental breakthrough. “Gosh, he’s so fast!” — we exclaim every time we put him down somewhere safe only to find him zip across the floor on his hands and knees to one of a myriad places he is not supposed to be playing. The house came with baby gates, and we’ve plugged the electrical outlets, but otherwise our abode falls far short of being “baby-proof.”
And yet, all it takes is a few minutes in the company of an older child to realize that Munchkin is still a baby and has only begun to tap into his potential for mayhem. We made some new friends this week, hosting a family with whom we have a close mutual friend. They are in the midst on a ten-month trip around Europe with their almost 4-year-old son, and watching him tear around the house, looping around Munchkin, helped put things in perspective. Once our little guy starts walking, it will be a whole different ball game, and though it already feels like a challenge to keep up with him, we recognize that for now we still have it easy.
Munchkin was ahead of the curve when it came to rolling over and crawling, but we’re ok with him taking his time to learn to get on his own two feet. Just recently, he has learned to stand without supporting himself, though he usually can’t do it unless he’s also holding something in his hands for additional balance. He’ll get up and wobble back-and-forth for a few seconds engrossed in whatever toy he happens to be holding until he looks up and realizes that he’s upright. The surprise of this realization is usually enough to send him tumbling back down on his bottom again.
Unable to watch him grow up and relegated to spoiling him with presents only through the diplomatic post, our parents frequently ask what new things he’s learned whenever we talk. D’s parents even videotape some of our Skype conversations to help mitigate the physical distance between us. In addition to learning to stand, the Munch has also recently discovered his vocal chords. He has been quite chatty for many months now, but the shrieks of joy and distress that now ring around the house are quite a few decibels louder than before.
Though it’s still a few months away, we have already begun discussing whether we should throw Munchkin a party for his first birthday. We’ve been to a few and they mostly seem to be for the parents, but today we went to one and it was clear that the birthday girl, who is three months older than Munchkin, got quite a lot of joy out of the occasion. We’re bracing ourselves for the tornado of madness that will likely ensue, particularly since many of our friends have older children, but it will be well worth it. S has just one “trimester” to plan the party.