Our apartment is not the most baby-safe place. There are electrical wires, drawers, shoes, and other things which I cannot hide or stow away. So I try to provide toys and random objects that are safe for Noelle to manipulate.
A few days ago I went out and bought her a chunky puzzle with farm animals and a fat farmer. Each piece had a knob on it, easy for baby's hands to grab and pull on. When I brought it home, I ripped off the plastic covering, my heart quivering in excitement. A new toy for my baby to play with!
I set it down in front of her and she peered at it, engaging slowly. "What are those knobs?" her brain seemed to say.
Then she reached out, pull on one of them, and appeared shocked that the picture of the fat farmer came up with the knob. She gawked at the piece in her hand, looked at the back of the wooden puzzle piece, then shrieked and dropped the piece like it had burned her.
She then proceeded to do the same shriek-and-drop routine with the duck and chicken puzzle pieces. Yes, I dare say that she actually started to cry at this new toy that I bought her!
There are some other toys we have bought her that also make her cry. Like her Gertie Ball. From the moment we blew up the purple ball and bounced it in front of her she has cried like it were a vicious dog barking at her. Today while in the bathroom, I pulled out a loofah for her to "explore." She shrieked and crawled into my arms crying.
It's as if her little mind is trying to accept the fact that not all objects are going to behave the way a solid wooden block does. The loofah is poofy and soft like clothes, but it's heavy and there's a hard plastic stick attached to it. The ball is moving by itself - is it like a dog? Will it jump on me the way I've seen dogs jumping on the grass? What is that loud thing that mommy keeps moving around to and fro on the carpet?
The universe must be a weird place to an infant. Everything is so new and the mind has no way to understand. And so we respond with fear.