The other day I made it my mission to make my baby laugh. Apparently I’m just not as funny as the sitter and the kids there. I’ve caught her belly laughing with them as I come to pick her up. With my husband and me her laughs seem caught in her throat, difficult to release. Or is she just giving us the equivalent of a baby chuckle to say, yeah, guys, that’s funny, but what I really like is when the other kids play with my feet. Even those famous raspberries you do on babies’ tummies just leave a puzzled look on her cherubic face. What am I doing wrong? Remi says it’s because I’m not a big smiler/laugher myself.
When I see her interact with the other kids, I realize she’s already got her own “jardin secret” or secret garden. That place she knows and enjoys and that mom and dad don’t invade. At nine months?! She even seems to have a boyfriend. Ugo, the nearly two-year-old, who has virtually no hair, is apparently wild about her and talks all about “JuJu” (her nickname at the sitter’s) when he’s at home. Tata Marie gets all the kids to say hello to each other when they arrive. Sometimes they touch each other’s cheeks. And it’s true that Ugo sometimes goes into a slurred repetition of “ZJuZJu” when she arrives.
I realized pretty early on that this little creature we’ve been given is programmed to grow. She won’t stay tiny that long. Already I see her little body lengthening, becoming more child than baby. We don’t own our children. That’s what they said in the pre-baptism meeting. We never do. We’re just meant to take care of them the best we can. And hopefully they’ll like us enough to hang around with us when we’re even older and more boring than now.