I took Rebecca in for her six month checkup today. She weighs 18 lbs, and is 2'4". Becca boo is bigger than average - no surprise. She is now only 1lb lighter than my youngest cousin who is 2.5 years of age. This marked the final round of the diptheria/tetanus/pertussis/polio/pneumo/fluB shots. She tolerated things fairly well, and didn't seem to blame me for the suffering. The more intelligent she gets, the more challenging it is to interact with her. She figures things out - it's eerie. Last week, my sister was over for dinner. There is a star which I hung from the handle of our fancy dish-containing cupboard. Rebecca decided that she wanted the star. I took it away. She tried to get it back. I took it off the door knob of the cupboard, and threw it inside. I closed the door of the cupboard. Rebecca then proceeded to open the door of the cupboard to get at the star. There was a time when hiding the star in the cupboard would have made it vanish from Rebecca's universe. Clearly, this is no longer the case. Ultimately, I had to take her away from the cupboard. In a similar vein, Rebecca now understands that the second shot of vaccine is coming when she sees the needle, and she realizes that it is going to hurt just as much. And now, she has the strength to reinforce her protests with kicking. Even keeping her hands away from ... well, everything, was challenging. I successfully intercepted her attempt to remove the glasses and stethescope of our lovely GP. They thought Rebecca was very social and curious for her age. Uh oh... how do I properly stimulate a very social person?!?! I haven't the foggiest.
After reading in a magazine that it is important that children have toys of the proper developmental stage, I rushed out to the mall and acquired yet another toy for Rebecca. Apparently for 6 month olds, you want things that: can be stacked, are in primary colours, simulate objects that babies see their parents using (for imitative play), display cause and effect (i.e. you touch it and it makes a noise or what have you). Anyhow, I returned how with a baby bongo drum that lights up and make sounds when you hit it. I like to play with it when Rebecca takes a nap.
It is difficult not to buy into the intellectual stimulation hype that surrounds baby toys. There are so many "developmental" toys out there, most of which, while they do not directly promise to promote precocious mental growth, insinuate or suggest that they do (despite a derth of evidence that any toys can do so). No one wants their babies to be "left behind", nor do they want to be responsible for stifling a potential budding genius.
Whatever. I prefer not to encourage the exploitation of whatever low level insecurities I might be harbouring. Parents (for the most part) want to give the best to their children. Clearly, parental perfection is not achievable, and I'm not going to pour the contents of my savings account into the pockets of some toy manufacturer to try to convince myself otherwise.
This is why Baby Einstein rakes in the cash. Clearly, it isn't all "nature", but I think there are limitations on what "nurture" can do.
No more quotations marks for the rest of this post.
Next vaccinations aren't until 12 months of age (gasp!), but there is a 9 month checkup in September (gas!). My time in this mystical fantasy world is slipping through my fingers. O.k., not everything is giggly butterflies and smiling hearts, but mat leave it is like being a castaway on a different planet (one that is eerily similar to your home planet). The clock it ticking, halfway to pumpkin time. So I'm going to make the most of it while it lasts!