Sunday, 8 August 2010
A Baby Raised By Wolves (Portrait of a Thirteen Month Old Boy)
Or bears for that matter. Or...us.
I admit there are days that I think William acts like a boy raised by a pack of wolves. Yes, his manners are sometimes just that bad: loud belches and other noises best left to the imagination at the table or spitting on the priest when being blessed at communion time in church. He is by far the loudest child I have ever encountered. That being said, these things are all done with great enthusiasm, wild laughter and a spirit of silly fun. I'm not sure if that makes it better or worse though. He certainly delights in his mischievous behavior and seems quite oblivious to the excellent manners that I, being a good Canadian, am eager for him to learn.
He has mastered the fine art of guttural growling for a few months now but more recently has begun to growl in response to the word "no". He understands no but something in him rebels against our daring to say such a thing to him. For a while every time we said no in a firm voice, his eyes would narrow and he would turn what he imagined an intimidating glare upon us and a deep, churning growl would come from his throat. Then he would settle back satisfied he had made his point. But we bravely persevered. Now when we say no, he seems more resigned but still gives a quick sullen low growl and more often then not, stops his offending behavior. Hey, we'll take whatever small victories we can get around here. ;)
What else? Ah yes, he has added another excellent piece to his conversational repertoire. At the table over breakfast one morning in a state of high excitement over the taste of jam on bread, he slammed his fists down on the table, eyes blazing fearfully and shouted out what sounded like "Mother Calcutta". I can imagine that by using that along with "hyena", "mama", and "dada", he will be able to create a marvelous sentence. Maybe he'll be a creative writer or a charismatic speaker or the dictator of a small country when he grows up. We can only dream...
I should add though that even in the midst of the craziness his waking hours entail, there are quiet moments of absolute sweetness as well. Soft baby boy sweetness, with his small head resting against my shoulder as he wakes up slowly from sleep or watches his mentor, Mowgli from the Jungle Book, on TV. Sweet little songs he sings while playing or sitting in his stroller. His beautiful, crooked little smile and the way his face lights up when he sees Per or me. Chubby little arms around my neck. So you see it isn't all wildness although some days it feels like it.
And this William, is a silly, tongue-in-cheek, imperfect attempt at describing your energy, playfulness, stubbornness, and sweetness. This is you at 13 (and a half) months old.