My 3-month-old has started laughing, or more accurately, chortling. His version of laughing at this stage is much like I remember his brother's: a staccato "ah-heh-heh, ah-heh" sound, accompanied by a delighted grin. The thing that was cracking Dylan up a few days back was my comical choking sound as I loomed over him and he kicked his frog toes against my neck. "Aaaaauuucccch," I would say, bugging out my eyes and letting my tongue loll out of my mouth in the Universal Sign For Pretending to be Choking. "AUUCCH. You're KICKING my NECK! HELP! Someone SAVE ME from KARATE NECK-KICKING BABY!" And Dylan would bark his weird little robot chortle, practically slapping his knee with the hilarity of it all.
Since then I've caught him laughing at his brother's antics, too, although I have the feeling that is more of a joyous expression of the DEVOTION he feels towards Riley. For his part, Riley is quite tender towards his immobile younger sibling (with a few exceptions: notably, the ongoing forbidden Let's Throw Hard Plastic Balls In the Air Above the Baby! game, and what is the DEAL with those balls anyway, I keep getting rid of them and he keeps finding more, they're like Tribbles) and speaks to him in this weird ultra-high-pitched voice that makes my eardrums shiver and Dylan obviously loves."It's Dyyyyyylan, Mommy," Riley simpers in his helium voice, as he stampedes into the kitchen for his breakfast and points out that Dylan is once again present and accounted for -- like wow, here he is AGAIN, just like YESTERDAY -- and Dylan goes, "Ah-heh-heh, ah-heh!"
It's truly amazing how much Dylan has grown in just a few short months. He's gone from a crumpled raisin-like creature with no eyelashes and a fairly crappy attitude about life to a plump and tiny human, full of personality and a fascinating array of expressions and vocalizations. It's like I've known in my BRAIN that this was going to happen, this growing-into-a-wee-sentient-being-thing, and yet it blows me away on a daily basis.
So I don't know if I'll make a note in Dylan's baby book (you know: the, uh . . . baby book . . . that I am totally going to start filling out any day now) or not, but I'm recording it here: baby's first laugh was at mother's expense, thanks to dramatic choking pretense. How about you? Do you remember when your baby first laughed?
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.