Despite the enormous focus she brought to bear on them, I can’t really consider nursing, sleeping, or pooing as real hobbies for Mica. But our little girl is growing up (four months old already!) and has started to develop interests outside her digestive tract.
All our babies have started experimenting with their feet before their hands, so Mica’s primary exploration at first included kicking, stomping (especially when I hold her over her brothers’ heads in the morning for our ritual Good Morning Stomp), and of course The Walking Game. She seems more human the more she plays, even at something as simple as kicking over plastic blocks. But already we are fast leaving behind the foot-centric world of her youth, as she struggles to master her hands.
They’re tricky little devils. Dave and I like to refer to our newborns’ hands as “Lefty” and “Righty” in acknowledgment of the fact that they often seem like tiny independent entities, and not always helpful ones at that. “That isn’t me! It’s Lefty!” I would say after she yowled in indignation at the thing grabbing her ear. (She still tended to look reproachfully at me. I don’t think she believed me.) Early attempts at grabbing something can reasonably be misinterpreted as attempts to bat it away instead, and her hands have a secondary function as “nursing decoys.” When she’s particularly frantic I sometimes need to pin one of her arms under my elbow and the other in my hand in order to let her latch on.
But she’s making progress. She has become adept enough at grabbing bowls, for example, to require me to keep my oatmeal a foot away from the table’s edge or risk getting it in my lap. “Wow! Good job!” I said the first time she dumped oat milk all over me. “No it wasn’t,” said Ryan, who knows the rules of the household fairly well by now. “That was a bad job.” This led to a quick discussion of the concept of a double standard. And when she really, really wants to nurse she’ll now grab my shirt while she butts her head against my chest and yells in frustration. This doesn’t actually help anything, but I appreciate that she’s trying to take charge of the situation. (Subtlety, thy name is baby.)
Better hand-work means that she’ll occasionally spend time on her belly fiddling with things, or allow a toy to distract her in the car, although she still tends to lose her toys pretty quickly. That’s ok; she hasn’t mastered object persistence yet, so once it disappears, it’s gone from her world and she doesn’t complain. She also likes to play the “Can This Fit in My Head?” game, a baby classic.