Something occurred to me while we were in Cleveland visiting McCall's family. Harper was playing with a new toy that McCall's mom, Susan, had bought for our visit. Well, actually, calling it a "toy" is understating it a bit. I believe they actually call it an "exploration center". If you're a parent, you know what I'm talking about. These mega structures make the Ewok Village I had as a kid look like Lincoln Logs!
"Harper" loves her Exploration Center!
Anyway, Harper was playing and McCall, Susan, and I were all looking on. Since the activity center was made post 1990, it of course emits lots of sounds and plays songs in six languages. Harper triggered the alphabet song, or something and started to bob her head back and forth. To encourage her sense of rhythm and dance, we all started bobbing our heads and rocking back and forth. The funny thing was, we all started pretty much in unison.
Harper laughed delightedly and started to rock more enthusiastically in response. As soon as the song stopped, she played it again and we all bobbed and rocked together. It was then that the afore mentioned something occurred to me.
Harper must think she controls the world. If she wants us to rock back and forth all she has to do is play some music and we join in. If she wants to play chase, she simply gets up and walks away. As soon as she sees one of us coming after her, she starts running. To her we're just the huge automatons that serve her, clean her, and make her laugh. And I think a lot of babies probably feel this way.
However, the truth is, she doesn't control anything. The only reason I'm rocking to and fro, is because I know that doing so will cause her to do it even more and she's super cute when she's jamming out. I run after her because I don't want her to get run over and as soon as I catch her, I scoop her up and drop her back down where I want her to be, regardless of her will.
I know a little girl who's in for a very sad day when she realizes that she doesn't control squat! In fact, I believe that day, the very instant of that realization, will be quite significant. I believe it will mark the end of her infancy, and the beginning of the long, difficult road toward maturity. But for now, I'm happy to be her puppet. After all, she's usually only pulling on my heart strings.