Vered is a good traveler. She is better than me. When I travel, my body aches (lack of exercise), I feel fatigued (the feeling of being draw down by other people’s homes), and I am plagued by the sense of being bloated (always eating out). Vered gets put in her seat, taken places, put in other seats, and mostly has a good time. She enjoys smoke free bars, airport waiting areas, restaurants, and being outside. She waves. She waves. She waves some more. She waves with both hands. “Hello to all my fans!” I am grumpy. I don’t speak with the people who sell me stuff, bring me beer, cut my hair, or even go out with me. Vered has something to say to everyone, from the cat to the stranger. “Hi! I’m a baby! I wear pjs all day! I hold stuff!” After a few days, I want to go home to my own food, beer, and bed. Vered can stay on the road all year. She laughs at Bob Seger and anyone else who bemoans life away from home. “Hi!” she says.
She is social. How do our babies get socialized so quickly? They spend nine months alone in fluid. Is this desire for others? Boredom with being alone for so long? Vered welcomes people when they come in to our home. Who cares if she knows them? Can the child of Mr. Grumpy be a people person? When the plane lands, Vered likes to stand up on our legs and say hi to the people behind us. Speaking to strangers on a plane? Is there no bigger social crime? I don’t want to speak to you. I want you to get out of my way so that I can get off this flying box.
Vered is social to her toys. Scratches. Henry McGiggles. The bowls that bang together nicely. The Fox in Sox that is as big as she is. The blocks she knocks down as quickly as you build them. She wakes up smiling. “Hi! Play with me!” Then she does her push up with two hands and her falling down game. “She has such a great disposition,” people say. And that is what amazes. At ten months she loves everyone and everything. She is overcome with pleasure. She smiles. She smiles again. And you want to smile back. Even Mr. Grumpy.