They sneak up on you, sometimes a little unsure of themselves (not so much about what they’re going to explore) and shaky at times. Some days they’re cold, other days, just right. They find your face, your mouth, nose, eyes, and ears. With the gentle softness of a cloud and the graze of a butterfly, they caress your face, placing their open palms on either side of your face. They are a gift, something small and sometimes taken for granted. They are your child’s fingers and hands.
Davey is in the exploratory stage of his development. Every little thing that catches his eye, he reaches for, sometimes creeping up on me and my husband.
Nothing is off-limits, although there are many things I wish were. At times, it’s exhausting to constantly keep pulling things from Davey’s reach or taking questionable items from his grasp. I wish there were a way to turn that activity into a sport that could possibly burn calories. A version of “Keep Away from Baby”. But in the end, I loathe to really move too much from his reach as that’s the way he learns.
Hair has become a favorite item and I cringed as yesterday, during his playdate, he instinctively reached for another child’s hair and started to pull it. My son, the explorer. Thankfully, the other mother encouraged it from Davey which at least put me at ease.
I love to watch his hands some days, his long fingers (some people think he may be able to play the piano really well) are soft and comforting. When he first finds an object to touch, he stiffens his fingers and extends out his arm. He tucks his thumb into the palm of his hand, forming the universally accepted symbol for the number 4, and gently strokes the item that has caught his attention. This is usually his plan of attack with our dog. Then only after he’s given it a good touch, does he untuck the thumb, widen and bend the fingers and start to grasp.
Some days he holds tightly to the item and tries to bang it on whatever is closest to him. Most of the time it’s his own legs or my hands or my head and occasionally my chest. After a few minutes, he drops the item and his little creepers are on to the next object.
I love this stage with my son. It’s something new everyday. And the greatest thing is the expression on his face as his fingers rhythmically move over the little nooks and crannies. Sometimes it’s an “aha” moment, other times he can spend minutes that seem like hours studying what’s in his grasp. It’s entertaining, endearing, and one of my favorite times with my son.