Miguel has outgrown (in interest and size) his small, jungle-themed activity mat. We keep it in his room as an emergency floor holding area.
So far, his room serves four purposes: sleeping, bedtime book reading, changing clothes and changing diapers. It is not a place for playtime and exploration. . . except when things don't go so well on the diaper table.
Today was one of those days. I had to plunk Miguel down on the undersized mat so I could regroup, slap myself in the face and run to the bathroom to soak his crevice befouled diaper cover.
As I walked back to his room, I heard a strange squeaking noise. "A new vocal achievement?" I wondered. His placid face revealed nothing. Then I looked at his legs. He had turned himself halfway off the mat and was kick-sliding his sweaty feet against the wood floor. Squeak, squeak, squeak. . . big smile. Squeak, squeak, squeak. . . big smile. I kicked off one of my clogs. "Squeak, squeak, squeak," I replied, with a questioning smile. He answered. "Squeak, squeak, squeak," big smile, eyes on me. Back and forth we went, 5 minutes? 10 minutes? an hour? I don't know.
What was he learning? Curious raw sensations? How to take turns in a conversation? That I can watch him for 5 minutes? 10 minutes? an hour? without getting bored and that that's a form of love? I don't know.