This? This is a crappy camera phone picture, taken via a mirror and in no way flattering to anyone in the picture, Julian included. But!
Another way of seeing…
This? This is one of Julian’s first baby-friends, Abigail. (Her parents are in the background.) Abby started coming to Story Time a few weeks after Julian and I showed up. She immediately cottoned on to him. And look at Julian. It may be hard to see it here, but he’s grinning at her.
We have regulars at Story Time: Arlo, Charlie, Abigail, Sophie, and Natasha, to name a few. But Abby may be the most outgoing, and every time she sees Julian, she makes a point of saying hi.
I mean, wait what? My baby’s six months old and he’s making friends?
And here’s the funny thing… as much as I need and want social contact during the day, it’s his friends who matter right now. Social learning is A Thing He Needs at this age. It’s fun to watch him smiling at the other adults in the group. The librarian who leads Story Time is Anne, and he grins at her every week now, after being shy and tentative the first couple of weeks. He even let her hold him today. And he’s getting good with some of the mommies he sees every week, too.
But the funny thing is… I know Arlo’s name, and his grandmother’s name (Cindy), but his dad came to the group today, and I don’t know his name. Charlie’s mom is Rachel, I know that, at least. Abigail’s mom asked me to watch Abby one day while she went to get Abby’s Pooh toy, and yet I don’t know her name.
I live in a world now where a person’s name is “Abby’s Mom” or “Arlo’s Dad,” and I think that’s probably both weird and normal in Babyland, where you can talk to a dozen kids by name but find polite ways to say hello to Mom or Dad without letting on that you don’t know, or have forgotten, their name.
Also, Julian has friends? Julian has friends. I mean, none of these friends will slip him a J, and he won’t be knocking any of them up, so it’s not like I need to worry, but he’s already moving into his own social space, and that’s weird and sudden and awesome and fun, but scary?