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What was that?

It’s been a few days now since the baby’s overall awareness has experienced what I can only term as an awakening. Her sense of hearing and sight may not or may not have changed much, but her interpretation and reaction to these sensory inputs have undergone a revolution.

Maddie’s new sensitivity to indoor sound seems to key in on any noise associated with an approaching person or incoming noise. I wonder if this is some sort of developing defense mechanism. In stealth mode – I can move across the floor without noise or vibration, but somehow, Maddie is aware of almost every approach. It doesn’t wake her up completely, but it does cause her to stir.

Some indoor noises can also cause her quite a start, while other sounds are quickly dismissed or ignored altogether. Any type of sharp noise such as a dropped pacifier, cough or yawn seems to startle the baby. But other sounds like voices, running water or the television are mostly ignored.

But being outside is a whole new story. Maddie’s immunity to city noises is well documented in previous stories. Once we hit the great outdoors, Maddie is still virtually oblivious to any egregious noises no matter how many decibels bombard her. This includes sirens, street sweepers and the grating noise of garbage trucks.

Another significant change we have noticed is Maddie’s new habit of tracking movement from across the room. I’m not sure whether it’s the sound or her visual perception that first captures the interest – but once she takes notice, she eyes every movement with keen interest. She’s also is beginning to recognize her parents at greater and greater distances.

I never realized that being an observer is such a significant part of parenting – but when I go to sleep each night, I wonder what the baby will teach me tomorrow.

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