Thursday, March 22, 2007

Letter To An Eight Month Old Water Baby

Dear Tricky

This month you have spent much of your time on your belly scooting around the floor. It looks like you might not bother with the crawling stage, the belly scooting is such fun and so fast. In fact you might miss the walking stage as well and just go straight to the pogo dancing stage or perhaps the legs in the air skanking stage.

Thus will your love of insane bouncing up and down and fast music come together.

You have been spending a lot of time with your dada this month while I have been tearing out my hair and tippy tapping at the computer. These have been lovely days for you both, hanging out at the local ocean baths and swimming.

Or at least, he swims, backwards, and you hover on his chest and happily spit out seawater. You have become a tiny little celebrity at those baths, people approach your father and ask for his secret because their child only has to look at the ocean and they start screaming.

I’m sure the regular visits help as does your father’s patience and determination that you learn to love the water and learn how to swim. Your mother on the other hand, while also loving the water, is afraid of it and sometimes would rather sit on the sand with a book then go for a swim. Most days in fact. I blame those two near drowning experiences as a child and my lack of proper, consistent swimming lessons.

Anyway, you, your father, water. A truly lovely combination. Especially because you come home completely knackered and usually sleep very well that night.

You sit up now, easily, playing with your toys, but you can also just as easily roll to one side and pick up a book. We try and read to you everyday and your favourite is currently entitled “Commotion In The Ocean”.

I’ll be glad when this fad passes. I’m not expecting Encyclopedia Britannica but geez, talk about factual errors?

The crab likes walking sideways
And I think the reason why
Is to make himself look sneaky
And pretend that he’s a spy.

When have crabs held any ambitions for espionage? What sort of testing was done to come to this conclusion? Is this finding published anywhere? (Apart from in Commotion In The Ocean?)

It goes on and on, scurrilous comments about jelly fish (“loves to jiggle”) octopus (eight arms purportedly to “hold all my children and tickle each one on the tummy.”) and swordfish (alleged to enjoy chasing small fishes and when hungry to “skewer a few on my sword.”).

I have been curious about the book reading, which we do everyday, because to be honest, although you sit quietly for a while, as a book is being read, you haven’t seemed to enjoy it as such. Large books have worked well, perhaps because of the large bright pages, perhaps because the size provides a useful barrier for trapping you on my lap and preventing you pitching forward onto the floor.

I use silly voices and hand gestures and point out the pictures but it’s actually only been in the last few days that I have noticed you responding to things on the page. This morning you saw that flimsy missive of lies, aka Commotion In The Ocean, and you began to gurgle and reach for it and when I picked it up and showed it to you, you laughed. Then you sat very still as I read it, silly voices and all. You stroked at the dolphin, you shrank from the shark, you giggled when tickled ala octopus offspring on the tummy.

I think that maybe my determination with the reading is like your father’s with the swimming. I love that we are each sharing something special with you, teaching you and guiding you.

And although I go swimming with you too, and your father also reads to you, it’s nice to have an activity that maybe one day will be a lovely memory for you… “when I was little my dad and I used to…” “when I was little my mum and I used to”…

I hope you love reading as much as I do.
As much as your dad loves the ocean.
As much as we both love you.

And that’s a lot.


your very own




LabiaLady said...

Gee, this is getting monotonous OG... Another great post! Beautifully written. Wonderful sentiments.. I can sooo relate...

Em said...

What a lovely post, OG. Isn't this a wonderful age?

Lin said...

What beautiful memories you are building for Tricky.

How big is your love? As big as the deep as a good book.

Dramalish said...

OG- How do you manage to get such lovely pictures of Tricky? So cute!
I loved the post of course, because it echoes in my soul as well. That sharing of things you love... and watching them become beloved by your beloved... it's special.

calliope said...

he gets cuter & cuter!
seriously- those eyes.
These letters are always the sweetest things.

Rachel said...

Awww, so sweet! I am the same way with Jillian and the reading, although she likes to take whatever book I'm reading out of my hands and stick it in her mouth. Good thing I have most of them memorized now from the endless endless endless repetition!

Tricky is such a cutie and whenever Jillian sees pictures of him or any other Internet babies, she smiles this amazing smile that I think she only reserves for other babies because she sure as hell doesn't smile at me like that!

Jules said...

What a stunner child you have. Beautiful post and I am hearing you about the way children's book writers seem just to through a whole bundle of words together that, most of the time, don't even constitue a sentence!!

Urban Chick said...

cute, cute and then some


shlinki said...

gorgeous baby, gorgeous post.
these pages are making me clucky...

Lucy Diamond said...

I loved reading this. Beautiful. If it wasn't for the fact that my own youngest has just let out a shriek from her cot when I thought she was safely asleep, I'd be feeling clucky too!