A baby’s sense of order

This morning, Benjamin and I had to get a blood test. I guess this makes us blood brothers.

Ready to go out

It’s been about 8 years since my last test. Now that Benjamin is one year old, his pediatrician wants him tested for lead as a precaution since housing in San Francisco can date back to when paint and pipes had lead.

When getting him ready for the visit, I got him dressed. He started repeating “sosh” when I was putting on his socks. I mistakenly thought the lab could get a sample from his foot, so I skipped putting on his shoes.

He saw me pick up his sandals, and ran at me yelling “shoosh!” But when I dropped them in his diaper bag, he wasn’t having it at all. He associates his “shoosh” with going out, thought this meant I was leaving without him, and started crying.

It took all of five seconds, but that was five seconds too long for my son.

I was three or four years old when, for the first time, my dad offered to cook my brother and me eggs.

“How would you like your eggs,” my father asked us?

My brother instantly replied, “Sunny-side up!”

After some thought, I shouted, “Sunny-side down!”

Dad told me, “There is no such thing as sunny-side down.”

“They do! If there is sunny-side up, there must be sunny-side down!”

Pulling out a frying pan from the cupboard, “No, they don’t. Choose something else,”

“I want sunny-side down.”

“How about I make you sunny-side up,” my dad reached into the refrigerator.

I was super pissed to having to eat a sunny-side up egg (which I flipped over and made a mess of). So pissed that to this day that I can recount this story an almost half-century later.

The small change of possibly going outside without his shoes was a clear violation of Benjamin’s sense of order.

It’s fascinating that he only started being able to repeat words in the last week and it’s been less than a month since he started stacking my Coke cans instead of just pulling them out of the box and rolling them into random places in the apartment.

Soon everything will need to be done a certain way.

I, however, plan to learn how to cook an egg over-easy before Benjamin gets old enough to ask his daddy for a fried egg.

Of course, in hindsight, it was obvious that a pin prick wouldn’t draw enough blood to check his lead levels. Mommy went with him while I waited in the waiting room. I could hear him crying a lot longer than the few seconds this morning between me putting away his shoes and when he, realizing that I just went into the foyer to put on my shoes, ran into my arms to be picked up.

In the car after we dropped Benjamin off in day care, M— said, “They took it out of his arm like an adult. They had a lot of trouble finding his artery. The nurse said he did so well, even though he started crying.”

“Yeah, I bet other babies…”

“…loose their shit,” she finished laughing! “Yeah, it started when the nurse pulled his arm and started tapping on it. Benjamin was like, ‘I don’t know what this is, but I know I’m not going to like it.'”

Like father, like son.

One thought on “A baby’s sense of order

  1. Love your writing and its clarity and intelligence. Your perspective on babies/kids is very enjoyable . The photos too.

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