We were watching some home videos of Vincenzo last night from when he was Leo’s age (13 months). There were usually three to four adults following him around, droppin’ some knowledge on him, helping him dunk a basketball, communicating back while Vincenzo flashed sign after sign up at them.
In one clip Vincenzo sat in a high chair eating blueberries and I had propped open one of his favorite board books next to him, open to the page on blueberries.
In a different clip I had drawn various fruits he loved to eat so he could tell me what color each was.
In another clip he was playing with a shoebox I had cut an opening in and filled with pictures of people, toys, and animals that I had cut from magazines and mounted on cardboard. Beside the “sensory box” was a line of scarves of different fabrics I had tied together that I sometimes put in the box for a different experience.
I kind of hate that younger me.
The closest thing Leo has to a sensory box is his brother’s Lego box. “Mooommmm, Leo’s at the Lego box again!” “It’s okay; he spits them out.”
Seven years after those videos were taken you’ll see that the ratio of adults to children has flipped, and a common question around our house is, “Hey, has anyone seen the baby lately?” Our favorite home video of Leo shows him sitting in the bath, opening his mouth so his brother can squirt water into it. He gags; we laugh. Then he opens his mouth for more.
Instead of learning a variety of different signs like his oldest brother, Leo has learned a couple of signs that he uses to mean absolutely everything. Walking? Whatevs. He has done his wounded soldier crawl for so long that the top toes of his pajamas are wearing out (his left foot pushes; his right foot drags).
When Vincenzo was Leo’s age, I helped him dye a bunch of noodles to play with and practice stringing on necklaces. And here is Leo, the dye from said noodles leaking out of his mouth:
Also, it looks like I forgot to snap the legs on his pajamas closed that day.
That vacant stare? Is his cry for help.