Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A child can definitely wave too much

Early this morning, Pa woke up and blearily saw a little hand flapping enthusiastically at him. He knew at once that Waving-Sonny was at it again.

That's right. Our little fella has caught the Hello-Goodbye bug. That is to say, after months of imperiously ignoring anyone who tried to gain his attention, he can't stop greeting folks, as well as bidding them goodbye (often before said folks are ready to retreat). And it goes further than that:

- At one year and six weeks, we're figuring he ought to be able to snap off immediate one-word tags for people and things that he encounters on a daily basis ('Tree!', 'Dog!', et cetera). Instead, however, Sonny has taken to cheerily waving at lamp posts, park benches as well as all manner of flora and fauna. He's perfectly indiscriminate in dispensing his favours, and the ability of the object of his attention to actually wave back appears to be completely irrelevant.

- Sonny even goes in for 'generic waving'. In its more innocuous form, this is basically what royalty or big-deal politicians are wont to do: Confronted by crowds howling their adoration, they daintily move their fingers without singling out any one in particular with their gaze. Our little fella does pretty much the same, and even throws the odd blurted nonsense-phrase (or irrelevant word, such as 'Ball!' or 'Go!') for good value. At the same time, he takes this sort of thing to its logical conclusion and can often be seen waving at nothing. Mind you, you might think he's directing his fluttery-digits at some distant person. But scientific analysis - that is to say, Pa looking very carefully - has confirmed that Sonny is pretty much vacantly waving into space, or possibly Harvey his invisible friend.

Overall, we're pleased enough that he's learning some manners and deigning to acknowledge the presence of others. Ideally, we would whisk him into close proximity with friend or relative, allow Sonny to wave about cheerily (collecting 'how cute's and 'how friendly' observations) and then rapidly toss him into a bush or basket before the visitor realises Sonny is actually transmitting 'hellos' to everything within visible distance and beyond.

What next for our inveterate royal greeter? Well, he must next learn to verbally welcome those who are granted an audience with him. Something tells us that, if he performs true to form, he'll be chatting to trees, bees as well as everyone and their second uncles within a few months.