Friday, January 20, 2012
This week's Friday Four has a theme: Things that make my daughter laugh. She turns seven months old tomorrow.
Parents and "baby people", understanding the joy of hearing a baby laugh, will understand my urge to post. Others won't, and will move on, scratching their heads. To them, I say, quoting my daughter: "Pfffffffffft!" (The raspberry is one of her favorite sounds these days.)
My baby is a tough audience. Originality is king for her, and "laughability" seems to "wear out" fairly quickly for many things -- but not for yawning. For the past month or so, she has yucked it up any time she has caught me yawning, including when I'm feeding her. Although I'm usually pretty good about keeping minor standing orders such as, "Stop feeding the baby when you feel a yawn coming on," this one always sneaks up on me: I yawn, sometimes hear a little laugh, and look down to see a broad little smile with a little "waterfall" of formula pouring out of it.
2. A Little Crinkly Bouncing Ball
Before the baby came along, I used to say, jokingly, of my wife, "Who needs kids? I married one." That said, she picks out good toys for the baby. Yesterday, during play time, I started bouncing a little ball Mrs. Van Horn had bought for the baby, and letting it bounce against the baby's chest or land in her lap. That got some good baby laughs, and I was able to get them again later in the evening.
I took a nasty fall back in October, and had to have stitches on my forehead. I had to wear a bandage over those for a few days. As with another occasion I had to wear a bandage on my face, she'd laugh upon seeing me for the first time each day. If anything made that fall and the emergency room visit worth it, that was it.
4. Touching her nose and saying, "Boop!"
I'm cheating a little here, because I haven't done this in a while, and it may have stopped working, but I include it because it worked on my baby brother, too. I was young enough when he was born that I don't have that many distinct memories of interacting with him when he was an infant. But I remembered doing that one day, and was amused to see it work on my daughter, too.
Between writing the above and posting, I remembered a couple more...
5. Being Imitated
This one has been pure gold lately, getting a smile at minimum: Right after she makes a baby noise, imitate it well. This has also backfired on me at meal time: If we're feeding her solid foods and she remembers Daddy reinforcing her raspberries by imitating them, we get a nice spray of whatever the Puree of the Day happens to be. No more, "Can you say pfffffffffft", for me.
6. Holding Her up to a Mirror
This is not the sixth one I was thinking about when I reopened this post for editing, but that one has slipped my mind. (This is why I'm posting these! Being a parent of a baby is so full of precious moments, one is bound to forget some of them. There's another, too, but I'm pressed for time, so I'm leaving it out, too.) In any event, the baby has started getting a kick out of seeing me hold her as we pass or stand in front of a mirror in the hall. This, too, will wear off, I am sure: Most of her laughter seems to be in response to novelty of one kind or another, and reflects her developing mind discovering the world.