I’ve begun to detect a trend in Nico’s way of knowing the world.
It goes a bit like this:
1) She sees something new or bright or shiny or noisy in a bright and shiny and new and exciting way
2) She reaches out for said thing with glee beaming from here eyes
3) Once in her reach, she immediately tries to stuff said thing in to her mouth
This happens with things she loves, like her stuffed animal, Ratoso (a portmanteau of the Spanish words ratón and oso, or rat and bear, because Marta and I can’t agree if the creature is actually one or the other). Nico really really loves Ratoso. If you pull his string he sings to you. Even better, if you put his little round nose in your mouth, it fits there perfectly. His feet are also quite bite-able. And even his torso will work if you are, say, four and a half months and your hand to mouth coordination is not all that developed.
The other day I was putting Nico in her carseat and I handed her Ratoso to keep her company. I was staying home and Marta was taking her somewhere. As they drove off, I looked back to see how Nico was doing in her carseat. She was chowing down on Ratoso’s head and I thought, “That looks so similar to something…” Then I realized:
Nico is a McDonald’s commercial.
Other things Nico likes to chew-to-know include my fingers, her blankets, her own feet, her giraffe Sofie, the seat belts for her car seat, the straps in her front pack carrier, and any and all parts of her pacifier.
Watching her sometimes I think how much more interesting the world would be if we all put new things in our mouth as a way of knowing them. Rather than shaking hands we would suck a finger or two. Wonder if that dress might look good on you? Why not stick a little bit of its fabric in your mouth and have a good suck? Museums would go out of business as we all chowed away on Picassos, Rothkos, Vermeers. Ditto for plays, movies, the Internet. No one would be able to keep their computers drool-free and soon we’d all lose our hard drives, all our screens turning to electronic mush.
This is what I think while watching Nico gnaw. Because, really, the way she immerses herself in that particular object of affection is admirable. I never even get close to her level of involvement when I, say, read a good book or watch a great movie (though I am realizing that concept of devouring films or books had to come from somewhere).
And so, while it might be impossible to return to my own oral stage, I think Nico’s ongoing one deserved a brief shout-out.