Some of Leo’s disposable diapers bear a hilarious legend on them reading, “I’m a busy baby” which makes me think of babies having agendas and trying to strike a work life balance. But he really is a busy baby.
We ask him, “What will you be?” A dentist when he shoves his hand forcefully into our mouths to discover what’s within. A tap dancer when we hold him over any hard surface and his feet paddle furiously against it. A contemplative monk when the stained glass at church absorbs his attention.
I wonder and wonder who will he be. What are the things he will say? What will our relationship with him look like in five, ten, fifteen, twenty years?
But he’s not waiting in some cocoon to transform into his future self. He really is busy being himself right now. And Leo right now is a wild and wondrous creature more bird or elf or monkey than human.
While his mother is caught up in her worries and distractions, he is meeting his world head on scampering away from grownups, flinging himself in different directions, falling over in boxes all the while chirping and babbling.
Except for diaper changes.
I’m pretty sure his gnashing and wails are just baby speak for a recitation of Helena’s monologue from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”:
O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent
To set against me for your merriment:
If you were civil and knew courtesy,
You would not do me thus much injury.
Can you not hate me, as I know you do,
But you must join in souls to mock me too?