A few years ago there was an episode of Family Guy called “Stewie Loves Lois”, where Stewie — the family baby who has spent most of his life trying to kill his mother — suddenly starts to appreciate everything his mother (Lois) has done for him.
While Lois is trying to relax, and escape Stewie’s manic attempts to gain her attention, Stewie walks into her bedroom and tries to get her attention by repeating her name…
“Lois! Lois! Lois! Lois! Lois! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mama! Mama! Mama! Ma! Ma! Ma! Ma! Mum! Mum! Mum! Mum! Mummy! Mummy! Mumma! Mumma! Mumma!”
Finally Lois gets angry and shouts “What!?”, Stewie responds “Hi” and runs off giggling.
To a certain point this is my life now.
When my son, who just celebrated his twentieth month outside the womb, stays in my apartment, he sleeps and generally hangs out in my bedroom. Unless he’s sleeping I leave the door open, so he can see me while I’m on the computer, or hear me as I ramble round.
Within the past few weeks he has taught himself the “Stewie trick” to get my attention… “da… dada, da dah, DA DAH” then, when I walk over to the door, he giggles, smiles and waves before going back to play with his toys.
Even if he works himself up into a crying jag — he can start crying like his bottle was missing if I wait too long before showing him I still exist — as soon as I show myself he stops crying, smiles and waves.
It’s just the beginning. He’s even started doing it outside while I’m pushing his little buggy. He’ll be his normal watching everything self, then he’ll yell “dah dah” and whip around to make sure I’m still driving.
Mostly Victor and I communicate by yelling at each other. Victor has always been pretty good at playing by himself. But when he takes a break he’ll start babbling loudly in one of his nearly-speaking voices, and I’ll repeat it with the same intensity and volume. It makes him happy, I think, to know someone’s agreeing with him.
Also, a few weeks ago, maybe even a couple of months ago, I started to notice how Victor would turn his back to me and run to the furthest corner of his PlayPen whenever I held my arms out with the intention of lifting him.
Once he got to his corner he would turn his head to watch me. Wherever I moved, he’d take off for the opposite corner. Or he’d dive to the ground. It was a game, and more often than not he’d be giggling the whole time.
He does cry when I finally catch him, and lift him out of the PlayPen, but only for a few seconds.
He has started doing the same thing with his stuff. He has finally discovered the concept of “mine”… or at least he’s being more vocal about it. He’s still more likely than not to hand something over if you ask for it, but now he’s either asking for something in trade, or I’ve got to pry it out of his tear stained hands.
Once Victor has decided an object is his it takes a struggle to get it back… he’s a strong little dude, with big strong hands.
This is not going to be an easy eighteen years.
I don’t know if one has anything to do with the other, but when Victor is with me in my apartment the music is constantly on. There’s always background noise, usually in the form of Blues, Country or modern rock, but also from the proximity of a busy intersection.
But when he’s with his mother, in her home, it’s mostly just the general noise of a home.
So, I think, Victor is using some of his musical toys to maintain a comfortable noise level. The problem is, one of them is broken, so when it sings it sounds like it has been ‘auto-tuned’.
The other problem is, Victor knows how to turn it on, and the final problem is he can keep it singing forever.
It’s the lumberjack from the stop-motion animated Christmas classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, and it sings a song called “Silver and Gold”… but it comes out like he was just shot, and probably won’t finish. But it does, and Victor squeezes its left hand, and out comes the song for the twenty-seventh time that morning.
The real problem is, the lumberjack doll is one of the things Victor hates to be without. And if we take the batteries out, he’ll shake it a few times, then offer it back to you because he knows we either sabotaged it, or we can make it work again.
I left a YouTube of him making sure the lumberjack is singing, so if you scroll down a bit you’ll see / hear what I mean.
I think we have to start playing music at Diane’s place more often… or, I guess, we could just buy him a new lumberjack, except I hate that frigging song now.
Photos Of Victor’s Week(s):