The newborn whisperer

By Published On: January 18th, 2013

Written by: Josh Conley January 17 2013 People often ask […]

Written by: Josh Conley

People often ask me how Bub is taking to HP by now. I have no frame of reference here, but it seems to be that it’s going well. Maybe even a little too well.
Just yesterday, he and I were having lunch, HP was squirming about in her car seat. I gave her her fikey, tried to rock her a little bit. Bub took a casual look over, offered an unsolicited diagnosis.
“HP tired, Daddy,” he said.
“Oh, I don’t know, Bub, she just woke up an hour ago. You think she’s tired already?”
“Yes,” he said, almost impatiently. Like, duh, Daddy, how did you not know that? Well, she was really flailing about now, and he was well occupied with his shells and cheese, so I decided to give it a shot. Went skeptically into the bedroom, came out three minutes later, egg on my face.
Sure enough, she went right down for a nap. Not a peep. I came back out and he grinned widely.
“HP sleeping, Daddy,” he gloated.
Awesome. You seem to have the hang of this, Bub—why don’t you just go ahead and change her diaper while you’re at it? Give her a bottle, wipe the crud out of the crease in her neckfat, and Daddy will just go take a nap. Sounds terrific.
This is not the first time this has happened.
He started with general commentary on situations (“HP need fikey, Daddy.” “Yes, I can hear. Thank you, Bub.”). Sometimes cute, but extremely limited in the help category.
But recently he has become a full-fledged member of our little dogsled team, pulling the sleigh that is HP. Even before asked, he will go and fetch her fikey with a preternatural Spidey Sense for locating it. It’s almost as if he were once, not too long ago, a baby himself.
He shows her things, talks to her (and for her), and has a surprisingly calming demeanor with her. He knows when she needs attention, he cries when she cries. He rocks her gently in her swing, he reads her books (with a little help). He’s even given her her own Chutes and Ladders character. And the ultimate compliment, he actually gave her HIS bankie—for a couple minutes, anyway.
Maybe he understands her cooing and occasional babbling. Maybe he just likes being bigger than someone. Or approximately the same size. Maybe they are kindred spirits. But whatever the reason, she’s started to notice. In the same way that she knows us now, I think she is beginning to get to know her big brother. And it seems to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.