It’s no surprise that we liken newborns to sacks of sugar and hotdogs and tacos. (No? Just me?) They are as inanimate as various foodstuffs and their toes and ears just as delicious. We hold them up and admire them, but they’re not really humans because they lack the characteristics inherent to adults and even toddlers.
Then they learn to roll, walk around, and bump into things. Their ability to move is experimental and aimless. Without hindsight and foresight, they seem to volley from room to room simply because their muscles don’t want to atrophy. They are kind of like a worm that gets cut in half but whose parts still move around independent of each other because its nerves – not its brain – are dictating its movement.
These taco worms, they are not of our kind. That’s what makes them so wonderful but also so mind-numbingly infuriating. They look like humans but their actions* basically prove that they’re not. Their human-ness is slow to appear, but with a bit of faith and the requisite patience, it will come. One day, you’ll push that baby from your figurative loins once again, and instead of announcing your child’s sex, the doctor will declare, “Congratulations! It’s a human!”
*Ie., when they throw their entire bodies to the ground when they are not allowed to lick the bottom of your shoe. Not like I’ve been there before or anything.
Wee Cee became a human over the weekend. An honest-to-God human.
In our bedroom, there is pretty much always a glass of water on my bedside table that I keep around but don’t drink because that would be logical and logic and I have a complicated relationship. C is obsessed with this water, and I’m usually able to snatch it out of her hands before she manages to splatter it all over the room and somehow make one and a half cups seem like Sea World. Saturday, though, she got the water, dumped it all out, and then had the wherewithal to retrieve my purse and deposit it on top of the wet spot so that we would not see it. That sneaky little bugger was covering her tracks. This is real human behavior, my friends. The whole right and wrong concept? She’s got it.
Then, a little later on, she was playing with B in her room when he called to me, “She just did pretty much the sweetest thing I have ever seen her do.” Truth. She had taken a rock that she had found outside, pulled out his hand, put it in his hand, and then made him curl up his fingers around it so that he would know that it was his.
Tears? Oh, there were tears. Lots.
My girl is becoming a human. Please welcome her to our complex world full of lies and love. And wish us good luck, too. I think things will only get exponentially harder from here on out because raising a human is slightly more complex than raising a hotdog.