words by chloe

"The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice" - Peggy O'Mara

it has been a while since i have posted anything about chloe. she is doing great, growing too fast, and christian and i find ourselves more and more in love with her each day. she is almost 18 months old, and has started to look less and less like a baby to me, and more like a toddler - her chunky leg, arm, and neck rolls are thinning away, her hair is getting thicker and growing longer, and she now walks, runs, jumps, and climbs like it's all old news. she is growing up, and while i applaud her every day on her latest achievements and love to share her new discoveries, there is part of me that whispers every night as i put her to bed "slow down my baby".
"WOW"
 one of the funnest developments has been language. her first word was "shoes", said when she was about eleven months old. then came "da-da", "kisses", "no", "doggy", "kitty cat", "leah", and then finally "momma".  there are some words she has said only a couple times, that i would like her to say more, but she keeps to her self, such as "thank you". her favorite words right now are "ball" (which means any round object), "choo-choo" (sounds referring to objects are words, right?), and as of today "WOW". she likes to say it loud and with an inflection of surprise in her voice - "WOW".  

a "ball"

many "balls"


"shoes"

the paradox of parenting is that you start with a baby, and as hard as it is to watch them grow up, and not be a baby anymore, it is also so enjoyable to be able to so closely watch this little person develop. i never realized until i became a parent how much pressure there is placed on parents to have their child develop quickly. it seems like parents want their children to walk, talk, add and subtract, and start school so early. don't get me wrong, i am already planning for her to take music lessons, learn a second language, and even take saturday art classes with me when she is old enough, but right now it just seems like any pressure to do anything more than what she is doing is silly, and might even be sending her the wrong message. because everything that she is doing is enough, and each try, success, and discovery is something to celebrate with her - not force on her.  

i am not a child expert, nor do i claim to be, but as a new parent i have seen how easy it is to get caught up  in the hype of child development and feel pressured to make your child into the smartest, fastest, super-baby out there. but when i start to feel that pressure, i remind myself that her and i are happier just letting her be herself, and develop at her own pace. there will be plenty of time for me to help her learn about language, music, art, and whatever other interests she may have; but for now my job is to let approval, joy, and love for her ooze out of me and into her innermost little person, and perhaps the development of confidence in that little person is just the development she needs right now.

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