One of the best things about parenting so far has been watching Reindeer develop his sense of fun.
He started smiling at around 3-months and my heart almost burst the first morning I went into his room when he woke up and he gave me a huge smile. It felt as though I was the person Reindeer most wanted to see in all the world and he was now the happiest person in all the world because I was there.
Moments like this, I’ve discovered, more than make up for the days of exhaustion, fatigue, stress, frustration when you feel unable to do anything right and melancholy when you realise that the person you were before your baby arrived no longer exists but you aren’t sure who you are now.
At about 4-months, Reindeer began to laugh. He doesn’t have a delicate giggle – it is a bright and hearty laugh, right from the pit of his tummy. Like everything else in his life so far, he gives laughter his all.
Tonight, I dropped the tub of E45 lotion on the floor by his cot whilst in the middle of applying it as part of his bedtime routine. Naturally, as the lid was off, it landed top down and the stuff went everywhere. Feeling frustrated I bent down to pick it up and, when I stood again, he burst out laughing. This was a bit strange, but I bent down again to mop up some more of the mess. When I stood up he once again laughed. It was at this point I realised that when I stood up it surprised him; and surprises make him laugh. The next 10 minutes were spent with me bending down and standing up randomly to keep him amused. It worked brilliantly and we had a great time laughing together.
Sometimes Reindeer laughs in his sleep. I don’t know why, but it is lovely to see – he has a big smile and a ‘huf huf huf’ laugh. Part of me is hoping he’s remembering some of the good times we’ve had during the day as opposed to his brain putting together something randomly amusing.
Discoveries like this happen almost daily and I love them. Watching him discover what makes him happy also makes me happy. Some of the things we’ve found are:
- The wooden safari mobile
- Raspberry sounds
- People’s faces (this is random)
- Me in my running outfit (this is bordering on the unkind)
- Being tickled
- ‘Boo’ sounds
- Zoom games
Talking to my parents recently, I mentioned that we hoped he wouldn’t lose this happiness as he grows and life becomes more challenging. My Dad is of the opinion that Reindeer has a happy character and, as such, is unlikely to lose that easily. I hope he’s right, as I think the ability to be happy and contented in your own skin is a great gift in life.
Tomorrow I’m hoping to be able to take Reindeer swimming for the first time. As with any first I’m nervous as well as excited. I’m hoping he’ll enjoy it so much he laughs!