It's 10 a.m. on Sunday, and these are the moments that make me smile. Hope is in a strange contraption known as an exersaucer. It's a big gizmo toy companies created after parents sued the bejesus out of them for baby walkers: Round, orange and plastic, it has a seat in the middle and allows Hope to spin around 360 degrees and monkey with about 10 gadgets.
And does she ever. Round and round, laughing and giggling, Hope twirls from one station to the next.
First it's the big apple on a stick thing. Thwack, thwack, thwack. What could be better? It sways. It's red! Oh life is a joy!
Ten seconds later: Hey, what is this? Big plastic bones that make woof, woof sounds and spin? Twirl, twirl, twirl. Life couldn't possibly get any better, until ...
Be still my heart! It's a green car that goes beep, beep! Tee hee, hee!
And on it goes for about 30 minutes. Hope forgets that we exist. Few are so serious about play. She breathes heavy. She shakes her head. She stares intently at a blue walkie-talkie thing. It has buttons! Wow!
We've tried to capture the frenzy on film, but Hope is an elusive prey. As soon as the camera is produced, the wonder of the exersaucer ceases. She becomes transfixed and stares intently at the camera.
Perhaps we'll have do go the 20/20 hidden camera route and catch her in the act like the butcher flicking cigarette butts onto a flank steak.
It's a sight to behold. Not the butcher. That's gross.
Hope is doing some great stuff for a nearly-9 pounder. She's getting closer by the day to sitting on her own. Yesterday, she made it for 30 seconds before tipping over. This morning, she began banging her binkie on the table like Krushchev at the United Nations.
She has a new stunt that involves vigorously shaking her head, as though she was asked if the Detroit Lions would ever win a football game.
Here's a peek into her evolving repertoire.