We took baby D to baby cinema to see the documentary Babies, which follows a Namibian, Japanese, American and Mongolian babe through their first year of life.
I left the movie theatre with a huge smile on my face - the babies were adorbs - but also with a new experiment in mind. Maybe Diana and I would both be happier if I weren't always so highly strung and on the verge of a hysterical freak out about every little thing? Maybe being so over-protective is just leading to neuroses and not benefitting either one of us?
The adorable Mongolian babe spent much of the movie outdoors and fraternising with various animals - a rooster walked by him as he napped, a goat sipped his bath water while he bathed and a herd of cattle bounded towards him as he played on a wooden block outside.
The babe - for the most part unsupervised, or at least it certainly looked that way - seemed totally blasé about all of these encounters. In fact, he looked super confident, inquisitive and happy with his "playmates" - everything you'd hope to see.
Which got me thinking about Bolshy the bulldog. Maybe I need to chill out a bit and just let Diana get to know the dog. And I don't mean through a glass wall.
The other day I panicked because I looked away from Diana for a minute and she had dragged herself over to Bolshy's bed. She's not exactly crawling yet - her movements involve rolling, tummy-shuffling and spinning on her side, but she is starting to cover quite a bit of ground. Baby D was about to grab hold of one of Bolshy's filthy, mangled chew toys, which would have found its way to her mouth, just like everything else.
I caught her in time, this time, but short of kicking all of Bolshy's stuff out of every room, I think I sort of have to deal with the fact that this is what happens with babies. If not Bolshy's toy, she'll find something else to pick up off the floor to chew on. And at least Bolshy's germs should boost her immune system, right?
I also get pretty stressed when Bolshy tries to get too close to Diana, for similar reasons. He's dirty, he's germy, he could crush her, etc. So, more often than not, the poor dog gets kicked out of the room with the door firmly shut behind him (I find him snoozing right outside it when I finally decide to let him back in).
This is unfair to Bolshy, since he actually behaves really well with Diana (especially when considering how badly he tends to behave on average), and the two of them are getting closer each day, as Diana starts to be more interested in her surroundings. The film made me realise that instead of hyperventilating every time he approaches her, I should encourage their interactions (under my vigilant eye, of course).
The dynamic duo have developed quite the rapport – his approaching paw-steps are enough to get Diana giggling – so I decided to try to capture the two of them on film (I admit, after seeing the laughing baby video and how adorable it was, I decided that I needed to start documenting all of baby's firsts more conscientiously).
So, this is the first time Diana rolls over in her gorilla chair while being showered with slobbery kisses from Bolshy (and listening to the cricket in the background).
After seeing Diana and her BFF in action, I realise there's absolutely no hope that baby D's first word will be "Mummy" or "Daddy." It's clearly going to be "Bolshy," right?
For more musings on new motherhood, follow me on Twitter @JenBNYC.