Saturday, November 21, 2009

I'll Get You The Moon and the Stars

Blake loves bath time. He also loves the bathroom in general. The door must be closed otherwise Blake will wander in and throw anything that's not nailed down into the bathtub. Or he might walk out sucking on some shampoo bottle before spilling it in my room. Or decide to run around with my shaving razor.

A couple of days ago we were having a very lovely bath-time. Papa (that would be me) and Blake in the bath and daddy was sitting outside. In the bath Blake likes to play with a set of three squeaky toys, purple octopus, green frog and blue whale. There's also a small squeaky pirate captain, among other floating bits. The highlight is a set of foam shapes that were a gift from a good friend who also designed the illustrations on them.

When wet you can stick them to the tiles and they'll stay attached fairly firmly. At first Blake's only interest in them was to stick them in his mouth and leave little bite marks on them. I'd stick them to the tiles and he'd watch with interest. Later he'd reach out and pluck them off the wall... And stick them in his mouth. As long as he wasn't biting me, I was content.

Then one day Blake decided to attempt sticking them on the tiles himself. The problem was that he had a finger between the sponge and the tile, so it never made full contact with the wall and fell to the water when he let go. Blake wasn't visibly disappointed or annoyed, he simply studied the results of his careful lab experiment. Eventually there were several successful attachments.

So two days ago as we were having our bath, I was inside with Blake helping him stick sponges to tiles. He then took the squeaky purple octopus and tried sticking it to the tiles. Needless to say, the big heavy lump of rubber dropped immediately.

'Oh, Blake. There's nothing I want more than for that piece of rubber to stick to the tiles, but it's not going to happen.'

'There are far more important things in the world than this toy sticking to the tiles.' Daddy said with a smile that was both forgiving and patronizing.

It was a somewhat silly statement on my part and it was certainly not true that wishing a rubber toy to stick to the wall was in fact what I wanted more than anything else. But then I looked at Blake as he attempted to stick to the wall another toy and I realized that I felt that way regardless of how pointless it was. It made me finally understand what it means to promise someone the moon and the stars. This unrealistic desire to fulfil a loved one's most impossible wishes.

Because at that moment the world ceased to exist for Blake. It was just him and his experiment. The only thing on his mind was whether the toy will stick to the wall or not. The toy falling into the water was surely a disappointment and a failed experiment, but a necessary part of growing up. For babies and toddlers pretty much any action they take is an experiment in which they learn basic physics and the world around them. Sometimes these experiments could be painful and sometimes just disappointing.

So seeing Blake fail at something, even if it's something as simple as sticking things on the wall, breaks my heart just a tiny little bit. I want him to have a magic touch and defy the law of physics to his own delight. I know it's not going to happen, but I still feel that way.

This utterly ridiculous anecdote is a good example to just how weird people get once they become parents. Or maybe it's just me... Apologies if you expected a funnier payoff to this anecdote like Blake maybe taking a dump in the bath or something.


1 comment:

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