December 7, 2011

Parallel play

Baby A. is the son of J.D.'s oldest friend, Patrick, and his wife, Jamie, both of whom have become my friends. I don't like them because they are J.D.'s friends and because I have to--I like them for themselves, because I want to.

Baby A. is four months older than Lulu. I actually got my positive pregnancy test the day of Jamie's baby shower. When A. was born, I had just crossed the threshold into the second trimester, and holding Baby A. was a little bit magical for me, not only because he was my friends' kid and I loved him instantly, because I was starting to see that there was one of these soft, squishy bundles waiting at the end of the road for me, too.

When I was on bed rest, Baby A. and his parents came to cheer me up. After Lulu was born, when she finally came home from the NICU, Baby A. was one of her first visitors.

From the very beginning, Jamie and I would laugh about how much fun they'd have together when they grew up, all the adventures/scrapes/mischief they would get into. We couldn't wait to see it happen. We watched to see it happen.

But for the most part? The kids ignored each other. At best they were extremely wary of each other.

Sometimes Baby A. seemed curious about Lulu, and would kind of test the waters by hitting at her. When Lu didn't hit back, he'd crawl away. For Lulu's part, I'm not sure she really knew that Baby A. existed. Sometimes she'd focus her eyes on his face for a second, but then they'd slide away toward something else. Four months was too big a gap; they weren't on the same developmental playing field.

Until this weekend--when Lulu finally caught up. J.D., Patrick, Jamie and I spent the day at their cabin in the mountains...and the kids spent the day playing together--actually playing together!--on the floor in front of the picture windows.

Sophie the Giraffe was the rock that finally broke the ice. Baby A. reached for it--Lulu snatched it back. Baby A. gave up, very chivalrously, and spent an hour or so gently feeding Lu her other toys in the most gentlemanlike fashion. He knows how to treat a lady.

When they got tired of the toys, Lu lay on the floor and Baby A. crawled over her a few times and even got a little fresh, taking a bite or two of her cloth-diaper-covered behind. Then he crawled away to eat a bug. There was some brief static over a bottle that both babies wanted to claim for themselves, but it was soon forgotten. As Lulu fell asleep on the floor, Baby A. stroked and patted her hair. Maybe with a little more force than was strictly necessary, but the right sentiment was still there.

I love that Lulu has a friend. I hope they will be friends their whole lives. And I can't wait to see what kind of mischief they'll get into, together.


  1. Are you already discussing an arranged marriage? Daisy's got a friend that was born in October, and we've joked about it with his parents.

  2. James and I joked today that if they DO get married, that first picture is going to be shown sometime during the reception.