Posts Tagged ‘child development’

But When I Became a Man, I Gave up Childish Ways… Again

Some years ago, I enumerated a list of behaviors common to babies and toddlers that would be regarded as socially unacceptable if performed by an adult. The tally extends ever onward. Here is Part II of infinity on “Things babies do that are not socially acceptable for an adult to repeat”:

1.) Make eye-contact and then deliberately, slowly, and methodically step on the face of a person who is laying on the ground; or, just sit on their face.

2.) Banshee-shriek-demand that your best friends attend to your mirth-related needs at 5 a.m.

3.) Shout for the nearest person (again, likely your best friend) to come in to the open-door bathroom and wipe your bottom.

4.) Meet strangers in your underwear, all the while rubbing your belly.

5.) Insist on entering the bathroom, no matter who is in there, to inspect what is happening (or has happened).

6.) Stand outside someone’s fence and bark at their dog for fifteen minutes.

7.) While supposedly taking a nap in a room where you are a guest, spending your time instead drawing on the furniture and walls with crayon.

8.) Transition from hugging a person to climbing their various joints and engaging in a full-body wraparound strangle-embrace.

9.) Grab strangers as they come within arm’s reach, maybe tug on their neck mole.

10.) Get your friends to help you put on your trousers and then just crane-kick the crap out of their chin.

11.) Smear your entire meal all up ons your face and then go socialize with company, maybe burp.

12.) Open-mouth sneeze with such force that the vacuum created nearly sucks out your internal organs, but somehow only manages to leave a vibrantly colored mucus trail across your face, and stare at the now-drenched friend in front of you with your head bobbling and eyes vacant for at least 23 seconds.

13.) Find a tube of some sort of health product (e.g. toothpaste, Neosporin, A+D cream) belonging to your friend, then just squirt it all out to see what it is. When you still can’t figure it out, smear it on items that are not adequately lubricated or pasted.

Things You Never Expect, Even before You’re Expecting

First of all, words to account for my extended absence, yet again. Now, on to other words that currently absorb my attention. In my recent years of fatherhood I have passed through many of those thrillingly mundane events of my children’s development that one comes into parenthood already expecting to encounter (e.g. hesitancy with the dark, enamored joy-fear of animals, and the inexplicable entry of “monsters” into the foray) as well as the educational responsibilities we willingly shoulder (e.g. the “how tos”— walking, talking, reading, sharing, dressing, etc.). Yet, this life stage simultaneously introduces a host of things that one takes as innate; things that you wholeheartedly believe you “always knew how to do”; things one never expects to have to teach; things entirely different from those encountered in Émile via the delusional hubris of Rousseau. Below is an incomplete list of “things” that we have been surprised to discover require parental pedagogy:

1.) Crying proportional to the injury

2.) How to blow one’s nose

3.) Going #1 and #2 at the same time (I’m not even sure how to teach this)

4.) How to smell things

5.) Not to drink while still chewing

6.) Staying on the toilet while pooping

7.) Keeping one’s hands out of one’s own butt

8.) How to use a straw

9.) Not to backwash

10.) Not to smell others’ bottoms because “something is stinky”

11.) Voice volume modulation

Dancing is not included on this list. Dancing is primal, natural, intrinsic, elemental, congenital— the original state. This we do not teach.