Congratulations! It’s a human!

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.

I. Died.

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.

c and bunny

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56 comments

  1. Ah, congratulations on your daughter showing signs of reaching the preconventional level of moral development! She’s so cute – not just her appearance but her actions! Love the way you lead up to writing about your daughter. (:

    1. Thanks, Thomas! I agree, the moment when they start acting like they actually know what’s going on is pretty exciting. And somewhat terrifying.

  2. It is always amazing to watch children start to display real human characteristics. Unfortunately, as you’ve learned, deviousness is often one of them.

    1. It was really funny when she tried to deceive us because neither my husband nor I have ever been in a position where we felt like we needed to discipline her until then. It’s a whole new world.

  3. And so it begins….enjoy every minute! I

    1. Haha! Oh we will!

  4. Ashley Austrew · · Reply

    I keep a useless glass of water on the nightstand, too! And it always becomes “let’s paint with water” time if So gets to it. That is SO funny about the purse. What a smarty! She’s growing up so fast!! I love that move with the rock. So sweet.

    1. Are we the same person? I’m beginning to think that we are ;D She is growing up waaaay too fast. It’s kind of ridiculous.

      1. Ashley Austrew · · Reply

        Um, pretty much yes. We are.

  5. You have a whole new world to discover. In the vein of Calvin and Hobbes, “Let’s go exploring!”

    1. I love Calvin and Hobbes! You just inspired me to get out all my old C&H books!

  6. She was a cute hot dog but an even cuter human! I love it the first time you realize they understand that they relate to you and relate to them – and they show love

    1. It is really priceless. C is not a big hugger or a big cuddler so when she expressed affection, it really melted my heart.

  7. The tipping point! It’s amazing that you’re taking the time to stop and realize when these little moments are happening. When my nephew lived with me, I remember him dragging out my blow dryer and makeup case one morning and thinking, “Holy crap, he knows my morning routine.” Blew my mind.

    1. YES! That is exactly how it is! (Sure you’re not a mom and you just forgot about the baby?) Discovering that she knows little things about our routines around the house is absolutely mindblowing. The other day she was “helping” me unload the dishwasher and she put the measuring cups in the exact place where they belong without me directing her. She had been observing all that time without us even noticing. Kind of flies in the face of everyone who says babies don’t know what’s going on. They totally do.

  8. Aww the rock! Is there anyway that I can birth a 1 year old so I can skip ahead to the fun part?

    1. If you figure out a way, please let me know! Her infancy was special in its own way, but I’m not gonna lie; toddlerhood is about a bajillion times better.

  9. I definitely welcome C “to our complex world full of lies and love”. She’s connecting the dots fast Emily. And that’s another great picture. She is so adorable!

    1. Thanks, V! I think this world suits her well. She is a smart little cookie.

  10. I love it! She’s becoming both sneaky and thoughtful. :)

    1. It is fun and she keeps us on our toes!

  11. Thta cutie could dump out glasses of water all day at my house! I heart her.

    1. She hearts you too! BTW, she peed on the floor in my mom’s hotel room today o.O

  12. Very sweet. My 3-year-old told me he wanted to “throw mommy in the trash.”

    1. It’s Hugo’s kid, isn’t it.

    2. My little brother called a nun “an old trash can” to her face when he was that age.

  13. Aw, she is just the best. She is welcome to our complex world, but she can have all the love. I’ll take all the lies for her. She’s too wonderful to have to take any of that crap, you know? Plus I’m like the human lie detector, and people are scared of me so mostly when they try to lie to me and I give them my patented bitchface they kind of trail off and wander away, which was my intention anyway.

    1. I wish you could psychically send her all your lie detecting abilities! I am as gullible as they come so I hope she doesn’t take after me that way.

  14. That is brutally adorable. Both the water thing and the rock thing. Little humans are funny. They’re sneaky but also have no guile. And they can be so horrible and then turn around and do something that makes your ovaries smile. And I’m saying this as someone who doesn’t even have kids!

    1. That’s so true! She really is very innocent. My mom suggested that she could have put the bag on top of the spot not to conceal it but because they were both the same shape. That is entirely probable. Either way, it shows that her little brain is working a lot more than we give it credit for.

  15. nataliedeyoung · · Reply

    Aw, congratulations on your new human!! And what a cute little bugger she is, too. :)

    1. Thanks, Natalie! I tend to agree ;D

  16. We might not always be watching them, but they are always observing us!

    1. So true! They have a lot more going on in their brains than we give them credit for!

  17. Then they become teenagers, a nonhuman species.

    1. Ooomph. So I’ve heard ;D

  18. I got nervous at the rock part and thought there was going to be something about pressing charges against her. I’m glad she’s having B do the dirty work of throwing the rocks. Clever clever girl.

    1. We have a glass topped coffee table that she has banged her little rock on many times before. I have half-attempted to get her to stop but I want to replace it anyway.

  19. Welcome to the spinning planet WeeCee. Welcome to our world. We’re so glad you’ve come. (stolen, from the best book: On The Day You Were Born) and made to fit my thoughts. ;-)

    1. I think I’ve seen that book before….will need to check it out of the library ;D

      1. It’s one you should own. I read it every year in their classes, on their birthdays… and the kids all knew I would cry. Still do. Gorgeous book. Each time I read one of your posts, I’m then reminded, as I write my own, how we are on such different legs of this journey! Wild ride, baby!

  20. Congratulations on the evolution of your taco worm! That means you’ve made it past the first stage without her being eaten by those pesky Mexican birds. You may pass Go and collect 200 new attitudes she’s going to give you. Just kidding (kind of not)…she is adorable (definitely not kidding.)

    1. Yay, attitudes! I need to teach her to sashay. I think a sashay would look good on her.

      1. Most definitely!

  21. My husband has some insane philosophical criteria about when infants become human beings. Something about clearly communicating needs (I think he qualifies it so it takes more than just screaming out of hunger) or ability to identify self as separate from others or something like that.

    Perhaps a first lie is a good qualification? It indicates making deliberate choices, knowing right, wrong, concocting sneakiness, as well as knowing self versus others. Plus the detailed communication skills required, which separates babies from puppies.

    Anyway, I freaking love that you own up that babies are a lot like “things” until they start acting like humans. Most parents seem horrified by the gentlest suggestion that their offspring have not yet matured adequately to count as humans. Blah blah blah I oughta get back to work…

    1. I tend to agree with him. I loved my daughter and all when she was tiny, but there weren’t a lot of complex human emotions, desires, and inclinations coming in to play up until she was about nine months old. Namely when she was an infant, her only needs were to be fed, rested, and moderately clean. And even until pretty recently, she hasn’t expressed favoritism for certain objects or activities. I don’t think my experience with her is all that extraordinary since a lot of parents I know mention that when their kids hit the 14-15 month mark, they start acting like little people. It’s a thrilling (albeit terrifying) time. Thanks, DeeDee!

      1. Yeah, that sounds about right – I remember younger siblings being like some kind of screaming, pooping potatoes until a certain point when they became interesting and interactive. All part of the developmental process, to be sure.

        But if you don’t have kids, you’re usually not allowed to point out that most infants are ugly and boring until they’ve cured in the open air for awhile. I get the distinct impression that I’m supposed to coo approvingly at every baby I pass. You can imagine how well I cooperate with that social more…

  22. mmmm….tacos….
    (cutest thing EVAR, btw!!!)

    1. She is a cute little taco, eh? ;D

  23. And it keeps getting better from here. How’s that for magic?

    1. That’s the best part. For real. We even had a first word the other day! My heart almost exploded.

  24. You think and write brilliantly. Congratulations, it’s a human is so what they should be telling us. When that finally happens that is. And how I LOVED the illustration of it, with the little stone your little girl placed in daddy’s hand. It takes someone super sensitive to notice it and to realize this is a celebration-writing-worthy moment. Lovely post!

    1. Thank you, Katia! Sometimes I feel like a broken record always saying things like OMG THE BABY DID ANOTHER THING!!! But I just can’t get over these small moments that prove her humanity. It’s like, we first see them as little clumps of cells during our ultrasounds, and then all of a sudden they’re walking and talking and feeling. It’s mindblowing.

Now you can hold the magic talking stick.

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