It is no secret that my baby is friendly, as I have shared about this matter quite often here on this site. Oliver waves at strangers, smiles at all our neighbors, and even laughs at terrible jokes out of pity. Well, I hope that his hearty guffaw is rooted in pity, because that other toddler tells terrible jokes, and Ollie seems really into it. Please, please let it be pity. The rest of his love, however, is sincere. He laughs at me because I am hilarious. Yes, the positive affect he exhibits around his father is completely intentional, sincere, and rooted in admiration/hero-worship. This little guy thinks I am made of solid gold. Or chocolate. Or pureed green beans. He loves the green beans.
This kid simply loves other people. He adores his daycare staff, and spends his days flirting with all the other babies. He already got a couple numbers. Two and four. Yes, those numbers might just be their ages. Ollie has not yet figured out the significance of getting someone’s digits, but he still gets them. Respect.
We are starting to notice, however, a sudden shift in his allegiances. Previously, he was a child that belonged to the world, like Shirley Temple or that royal baby that just arrived. He was a man of the people. Now, he seems to cling to my wife and other family members while offering sinister glares to random neighbors. He becomes scared when certain people enter the room. He recently started crying differently when we put him in bed at night. He calms down immediately if we stay with him and talk for a few minutes.
This behavior is wildly conflicting for a new parent. On one hand, holy crap this is adorable. I want to spend all day with the little monster, so of course I melt when he shows a little reciprocation. He loves me back, and never ever wants me to leave! On the other hand, this is probably going to be annoying. We will eventually need to leave him with others: baby sitters, family members, or possibly a really talented dolphin (I hear they’re crazy smart). This kid needs to be a little versatile.
Luckily, the little guy has proven to adapt well so far, and I have faith in his abilities. He’ll be swimming with dolphins in no time.