I only have eyes for you, Mom

I read somewhere that when babies are newborns, they don’t perceive that there’s a difference between themselves and their moms. It’s as if they can’t tell where Mom ends and where “I” begin. As they mature, they soon develop a sense of self. I think the article said that by about 3-4 months, Baby begins to perceive himself as a distinct person.

Of course, this trend will continue throughout his life, strengthening especially after learning the words “no” and “myself” and spiking again in the teenage years, particularly around the time of the issuance of a driver’s license.

But I digress. Obviously, Hayden gets that he’s his own person. He quite likes being his own person, I think. But something that he hasn’t learned yet is that I’m not everyone’s Mommy.

One afternoon at my parents’ house he wanted me to hold him. I picked him up and he turned to the rest of my family and grinned—and I swear he was at least a little smug. It’s as if he thought that everyone was competing for my attention, and he won. What he has yet to learn is that no one else in that room cared the way he did.

I think babies think everyone loves their mamas the way they do. Let’s hope it lasts as long as possible. All too soon, Hayden’s going to figure out that Mom isn’t the be-all and end-all, and it’s downhill from there, especially in those teenage years.

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