Finely balanced

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Do you remember when sitting up required a massive amount of concentration, the involvement of all ten fingers and toes, and the production of quite a lot of dribble? No, me neither. But I sense that I’m heading back in that direction now, so I’ll probably be able to report on what it feels like quite soon.

Being Baby B was a little bit effortful today, as was being his grandparent, if I’m honest. The fact that he burst into tears as soon as he set eyes on me alerted me to the fact that he was possibly feeling a little fragile – though that was probably to be expected given that he had more vaccinations yesterday. And once he’d recovered from being gurned at by a madwoman he was charming, though definitely a little finely balanced, so we had plenty of happy times over the course of the day, but also a few stormy ones at unpredictable intervals. R and I took him out in the pushchair three times to ensure that he got his naps, but luckily it was a nice day, so it was pleasant to stroll around the local parks.

The first big event of B’s day was that he got to spend a few minutes in the door bouncer R and I had bought for him, which we think he’s going to enjoy because he’s clearly determined to stand up as soon as he can possibly manage it. The first session, this morning, was surprising and pleasing in almost equal measure. The second, this afternoon, brought him the other new experience of his day, which was discovering that the washing machine goes round and round and round and round and round and round and round, and if you’re suspended in a sling on a level with it, it’s absolutely hypnotic. For about two minutes he was completely transfixed – concentrating on it to the absolute exclusion of everything else – and then the park bench lip suddenly appeared, and he burst into tears. And then turned and checked his parents, discovered that they weren’t crying, decided the round and round thing was therefore probably fine, and went back to staring at it in total fascination.

It must be very tiring, trying to work out what’s going on around you when you’re only four months old – it’s really no wonder that babies need so much sleep. Back when R and I were new parents, the nice man who was then R’s boss told him that he thought the phase of childhood between six months and two years old was fabulous, and that R should try to spend as much of that time at home as he could, so as not to miss any of it. Which turned out to be true, though as a parent the relentless grind can make it hard to count your blessings as actively as you know you should. As a grandparent though, you have the privilege of sitting and watching, and trying to experience the world through the baby’s eyes, and immersing yourself in their development. Which is a massive gift to be given.