Thith thith heath

When Sophie is happy, she whispers “thith thith heath.” She also points at whatever has delighted her: a bird, our cat, her new stuffed-animal baby-seal, or — her current favoritest thing — her amoxicillin. Should I be concerned that my baby’s favorite food is antibiotics? I’m just glad she likes her medicine.

Sophie actually has stages of happiness. First comes clapping, whenever she listens to The Wiggles or tastes something she particularly likes. She’ll actually sit back in the middle of nursing in order to applaud. Then there’s nose-wrinkling smiles, and next comes “thith thith.”

Beyond that, I think, comes sharing. This morning, when I combed her hair, she said “thith, thith,” then seized the comb, crawled into the next room, and attempted to comb our cat’s hair. This morning she also gave her balloon to our neighbor Kevin, and gave her mashed-up breakfast banana to me, proudly balancing it on her little baby-spoon. All this generosity is a particularly endearing trait of hers. She has a favorite book (“Freight Train” by Donald Crews), and generally after she has asked me to read it to her two or three times through, she seizes the book, turns it around to face me, and then starts pretend-reading back to me, pointing to the pictures and babbling in a sing-songy, storytelling way. If it’s not as share-able a thing, if it’s a washcloth that delights her, or a shirt she grabbed from the laundry, then what she likes to do is try it on as a hat.

After sharing, the next stage of Sophie happiness is wild giggling: whenever I accept the food she’s offering, or whenever she has persuaded someone to play tag with her, or whenever her Dad and I are laughing about anything, she will laugh along. Then the ultimate stage of Sophie happiness, beyond raucous laughter, is silent, open-mouthed gaping. These are traits I want to remember now, because I know they’ll change so fast.

She’s got stages of unhappiness, too. Whining, recently, when I tell her she can’t play with the poisonous-ant-traps that are in our yard, or her daddy’s razor, or a few other off-limits things. She’s got a whining cry. It’s brief, though. She’s still easily distracted back to “thith thith heath.”


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