Independent Spirit

Independent Spirit

I think it is so cute when Simon comes to me and begs me to pick him up. It’s heartwarming for me to know that he needs me and he knows that he needs me. So after I contemplate the child (and wash my hands of the bread dough or chicken juice that is covering them), I pick him up to give him a hug and find out why he needs me so much at that moment. And then he promptly ignores the fact that I am sacrificing my time and my arms and begins demanding that I take him around the apartment so he can examine every surface and find one of those hidden treasures (usually a cell phone or some chapstick) that somehow bring him the comfort that I cannot give him. He is not a cuddly child.

He has very little use for laps and refuses to sit in one unless he is in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people. He does not sign even though I’ve been signing to him for more than six months. In fact, he avoids eye contact when I sign. He understands the signs (he looks at his cup when I sign “drink” and at his highchair when I sign “eat”) but he likes to communicate in his own way. I would draw comfort in the fact that he seems to share my love of books, except that he really doesn’t ever want me to read to him. He prefers to sit alone on the couch flipping through his own book (which is often the one I was reading until he pried it from my fingers), and so lately we have taken to giving him a book to flip through while we read one aloud to him. I’m not sure what he likes about books, but I can only guess it is the feel of the pages and the way he can turn them around in his hands. Someday he’ll come running and asking for storytime, but I’ll probably be old and gray by then.

Still, motherhood is not entirely without perks. Simon has reached the age where he can pick up new things fairly quickly, if he wants to. He can identify our noses, point to dogs we pass on the street, and flex his muscles whenever we ask to see them (yes, it is ridiculously cute). And of course there are these little things we did not teach him that are possibly even more rewarding. I have no idea where he came up with this idea, but I love it.

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