Now, I'm not going to be so bold as to suggest that my little Bean will in fact, grow into a musical genius. Yes, she has demonstrated a unique taste in music, ranging from the Beatles to any song from the Glee soundtrack, but this is more a testament to her parents' musical tastes than her own. What I mean by practice, is that at this age, Bean practices whatever recent skill she has acquired over and over and over again. She practices all day long, whether it's a new sound that she can make with her mouth or it's just a new ability to reach for something, Bean is striving for perfection. Or more likely, she is amused by her new talents almost as much as I am.
Just the other day, I awoke to the sound of farting coming from Bean's crib. This is not new to me. There have been many nights, when Bean's gaseous emissions have startled me from my slumber. But this series of farts were nonstop. What in the world was going on with her digestive system to cause such a concert of farts? Was it the prunes? The pears? The bananas? Surely, this would necessitate a trip to the doctor. I jumped from my bed, mentally preparing myself to find an exploded diaper and a crib full of excrement, when all I found was a perfectly smiling Bean. She was practicing the art of making fart noises with her mouth, and not her behind. She was blowing raspberries, blustering her lips and spitting out a chorus of fart noises. She continued this for the remainder of the day, "practicing" her new skill.
Similarly, when Bean discovered that she could say "Ma Ma," she repeated my moniker throughout the day and night. She said it repeatedly, like she was trying out the sound in her mouth. At first, she just kept saying "Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma" to no one in particular. It started as a whisper, but grew into an emphatic "Ma Ma" with her staring right at me and throwing up her outstretched arms at me. She approached saying "Da Da" with the same ferocity. Her "Da Da" was said more often when she was roughhousing with her toys, beating her arms up and down like a drum. My husband, clearly desperate because Bean said "Ma Ma" first kept practicing with her to say "Da Da." She responded by violently throwing her toys up and down and repetitively mumbling "Da Da," until finally she looked at her Pops, and said "Da Da."
Her favorite new skill is giving kisses. Perhaps this was in response, to Bean saying "Ma Ma" first, but dear old dad felt slighted. And so, he worked with Bean on giving kisses. He started by asking "Can I have a kiss?" in a loud, and what could only be described as cartoony voice. At first, Bean just looked at him funny and smiled. My husband would pucker up and wait for a response, and then go in for a kiss which Bean would respond to with peals of laughter. Over and over again, I heard "Can I have a kiss?" followed by giggles, until finally Bean went in for a kiss! My husband and Bean exploded with joy! They continued practicing until Bean went to bed and repeated this exercise at first light. Bean's kisses start out as head butts, and you have to be careful because she will whack you with her noggin, but you will also get a glorious little smooch from my darling babe eventually.
Bean's growth is a wonder to me. Everyday she absorbs new information and processes it and practices. Her learning astounds me. She knows what "No" means and knows to put her hand up when I say "hand." Whether she is tryng out new sounds, or reaching for a toy and figuring out to get to it, she is exercising her brain. She is practicing. Will she make it to Carnegie Hall? I don't know. I do know that her mastery of these skills is just around the corner and really, Carnegie Hall is only a subway ride away!