The other day, I walked into the nursery and found my baby doing air kicks. He was lying on his back with both legs up in the air, cycling frantically with a ridiculous grin on his face. If he were 20 years older, I would have figured he was in the middle of a gnarly ab workout. He would have lifted his shirt like a Jersey Shore cast member and winked at me as I attempt to count all parts of his eight pack.
Instead, we seemed to make awkward eye contact. He stared at me as though I had walked in on him while he was making out with his girlfriend. Five weeks in, and he’s already the eighth grade kid whose dad doesn’t understand him. Needless to say, the air kicks stopped and the grin vanished. He just stared right through me.
That was when I realized that he might not have been staring at me. I figured that he might have just heard a noise and looked up. I was standing several feet from him, so he may not have even been capable of focusing on my face. I was probably just a blob. I stood there like that girl in Jurassic Park, right after she realizes that the T-Rex can only see objects in motion. I stood there as he sniffed and growled about. Just as I thought that I was caught, the little guy glanced elsewhere, and air kicks resumed.
And like that, I was no longer the intrusive parent. He was no longer the annoyed child. That was nice. After all, I was hoping we had a few years before that stage.