“Curieux ou curieuse?” she asked.
“Curieuse,” I informed her. It wasn’t the first time in baby girl’s short life someone had mistaken her for a boy (and it wouldn’t be the last). Nor was it the first time someone had commented on her curiosity. At just seven weeks old, she was highly alert, taking in every new sight and sound and face she encountered. In this particular instance, we were sitting in the osteopath’s waiting room. There had been another woman and infant waiting when we arrived, but they had been called back, so when this new woman entered, baby girl’s full attention was on her. She watched intently as the woman folded her umbrella, hung it from the coat rack, and took off her galoshes.
We had walked from the metro station to the osteopath’s office under our own umbrella–baby girl’s first stroll in the rain–and she’d peered out from her position in the Ergo, snuggled into my chest, at the rain and the raincoat-clad people passing by, at the stores and buildings and traffic lights glowing beneath the gray sky.
As she’s gotten older, she’s advanced from watching to touching to nibbling–everything. Her curiosity drives her to walk or crawl into every corner of our apartment, behind and under the furniture. It prompts her to pick up every tiny crumb she finds and put it directly into her mouth, as if to say, “I wonder what this tastes like!” And it’s not limited to food. She pulls the cats’ hair by the handful, and that gets tasted, too.
She wants to know how everything works–shaking, banging, and examining toys, bags, remotes, utensils, shoes, and anything else she can get her hands on. She wants to “help” with whatever I’m doing–laundry, cleaning, cooking–and takes it upon herself to clear every reachable surface of whatever objects have gathered there.
I love watching her watch the world, examine it, and then tackle it as best she can with her not-quite-year-old motor skills. I am so lucky to be able to see even the most mundane situations through her lens of wonder, to remember what it was like to learn and explore, when I didn’t think I already knew enough about most things. Soon she’ll be asking questions, requesting that I name everything in sight. She’ll have her own stories to tell about all the things she experiences and tastes and investigates. And I can’t wait to hear them.