When toddlers are placed in close proximity with a baby, it always seems like the first thing they want to do is touch the baby’s head. I never could figure out what the attraction was. Of course, the last thing the adults want them to touch is the baby’s head. And maybe that is the exact reason why they go for it. Whenever someone hands a baby to someone who is or seems inexperienced, the first thing they say is, “Watch his head!!” It makes the head all important I guess. Or maybe it is because the baby’s head is often pretty bald, so like any other bald head, some people want to rub it…another thing I never could figure out.
When my grandchildren, Christopher and Shai were 16 months old, my third grandchild, Caalab arrived. There were times when Shai, at least, wondered why her parents had to get her a brother. He cried, and she really hated that, but in many ways she loved him too. And to these two best friends and cousins, who spent much of their waking hours together, Christopher and Shai found Caalab to be something of an oddity too. They hadn’t been around babies much, and so they didn’t really know why Caalab did the things he did…like crying, especially when they touched his head or tried to pick him up. They couldn’t figure out what his problem was. And all Caalab could think of was please don’t drop me or poke me in the eye.
For parents keeping the baby safe from the other kids can almost be a full time job, and yet the older children don’t mean any harm. All they want is to be involved with this new little person who takes up so much of the adults’ time, and seems so important to them. I think they are just curious. They want to help out with the baby. They want to play a part in this new life that has come into their world. And they want to see what makes this baby tick, so to speak…probably part of why they have to touch the baby’s head. To a toddler, babies are something very new…and toddlers really just want to understand what all the fuss is about.