I’ve learned that babies have a very interesting form of quality control. Or at least, Everett has a very specific strategy to decide if something is worth his time. My experience is that Everett is just following the tradition of every baby before him. He puts it in his mouth. If it doesn’t quite fit in his mouth, then he’ll happily slobber all over it. If it fits in the mouth well or if it is enjoyable to spread saliva all over, then it is a high quality product – according to Everett.
For about a month, Everett took to staring at his fists. It was definitely in his top five things to do during the day, and when he wasn’t eating, sleeping, concentrating on pooping, and laughing then he was checking out balled of lumps of flesh attached to his arms. One day, he finally decided it was time to figure out how valuable these things really were. Of course, this meant he had to shove them into his mouth and slobber all over them. He has now decided they’re pretty important, because “fist slobbering” has now replaced “fist staring” as a great afternoon activity. It also has the added bonus of allowing him to now stare at new things, and maybe decide if they’re worth slobbering on.
Everett isn’t always happy when we decide to stop holding him. He likes his infant carrier and play mat, but he prefers being cradled in our arms. He’s recently learned a new activity that makes sitting in carrier and lying on the mat more enjoyable. This is slobbering and sucking on the objects that are closest to his mouth. If he is doing tummy time on the play mat, this means that after he is tired of elevating his head, then he occupies his time by creating a mini pool. If he is in the infant carrier and I’ve stopped paying attention to him, then he makes use of the “drool pad” and tries to figure out if it tastes as good as his fists.
Everett hasn’t quite learned that his arms are great for reaching for things. He’ll grab things if they are nearby, but he won’t bother to make much effort if they aren’t hanging around near his hands. He has learned that once something is in his hands, then he must immediately decide if it is worth holding on to. This means everything he is holding must be directed into his mouth. I’ll often be drying him after a bath, then notice he’s decided to help me by “drying” the inside of his mouth by shoving in a corner of towel. He’s also decide he is good buddies with Sophie the Giraffe, and he display his love by tasting her head and feet – Sophie seems to love it, because she never stops smiling.
Sometimes I think it will get more interesting and entertaining when Everett begins to crawl. Then I realize it might not be the type of “interesting” that I want to rush into, because this just means he’ll have even more access to things to shove into his mouth. At least now, I have the advantage of making sure his prowling hands and salivating mouth are only close to things that are “baby mouth friendly.”
Everett loves exploring the world. I love watching him interact with his surroundings. I’ve learned the best way to find out if Everett loves something is by seeing how much drool is left behind. This means my shoulder may be one of the best things in the house.