Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thank You, Baby Monitor

One of the beauties of modern technology for parents is the ability to watch our children unobserved. A video baby monitor comes in very handy for this.

This morning, I woke up a bit before Ryan’s usual get-up time, so I went downstairs to catch up on e-mails before he woke up, and I watched him on the monitor. Since our bedroom is just down the hall from his, I am very used to hearing him sing and coo and run through his entire vocabulary (“Ball! Up! Bye-bye! K! K! K! Ba-dup-uh-dup! Uh-oh!”) to himself for a while before he yells to get up. But this was my first chance to actually watch him as he wakes up. I loved seeing him go from barely stirring to sitting straight up and deliberately ejecting every item from his crib within a few seconds. I laughed at his (nearly successful) attempts to throw his leg over the top of the crib rail and escape. I laughed even harder as he sat in the middle of his crib looking around as if wondering, “Well, what next?” And I smiled as I watched him playing with his own toes, rolling back and forth just because he could, and even bouncing up and down and rattling the crib bars for effect.

This afternoon, I am watching him go down somewhat reluctantly for a nap. He played with his toys for a bit, then threw himself down on his tiger pillow and began making gargling noises. I’m not sure if he was trying to fake me out with fake snoring, or if he was just amusing himself, but I was certainly amused either way. And he’s currently making motorboat noises while shoving his blanket through the crib bars and then fishing it back in again.

I consider myself very fortunate that he is so good at entertaining himself. It gives me a huge amount of freedom to do chores around the house, to get dinner on the table safely without a small, curious child underfoot, and occasionally to just lay on the couch and catch a quick (and often much-needed) catnap while he is safely in his playpen. But to be honest, I’d much rather just sit and watch him while he plays. I love to see his curiosity, his fascination with his own body and abilities as well as the world around him, and his eager exploration of everything within reach. And I appreciate all the modern conveniences that allow me to take a secret peek into his world.

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