Rising above Ian’s crib is a friendly, yellow and orange piebald sun. Below him, across rolling green hills, marches a troupe of cavorting ladybugs, ants, and butterflies. They follow a path from Ian’s window, which winds along his crib and trails behind his changing table. Leading this band of merry arthropods is a bright red ladybug.
This morning, as I change his diaper, Ian becomes enchanted by this ladybug. She’s twirling just over his right shoulder, about to dash behind the hutch and join her friends in the tree that’s sprouted behind Ian’s bookcase.
I’m trying to pull his arm through last night’s sleeper, and he tilts his head back, eyes opened wide. No matter what I do, he keeps his head tilted, enthralled. His arms lie at his sides, unmoving – this is serious concentration.
Ian makes a few tentative gurgles toward the ladybug, and waits. The corners of his mouth lift slightly, and he tries again. “Hello?” Suddenly he squeals and his mouth is split in a wide grin. Dimples dimpling, he coos and sings with the ladybug, and forgets about the daddy who’s just realized the diaper is inside-out. His legs flail. It’s hard to put socks on flailing legs.
I wish I could hear the conversation.