Posts tagged ‘Parenting’

November 10, 2011

Hug Hummer

My very favorite thing that babies/toddlers do is give people things. I love when Jacob—or any baby—hands me whatever it is he’s got in his hand, whether it’s a crumpled, dry leaf or the credit card he’s just taken out of my wallet, whether he’s been carrying it around for half an hour or just picked it up, whether he wants me to keep it or intends to get in back in about four seconds. I just love that feeling of being chosen, like I’m in the inner circle.

 

So what does this have to do with this post? Not much. I just wanted to tell you that.

 

My number two favorite thing babies/toddlers do is give hugs, especially on command, and especially to stuffed animals. Jacob just started doing this a few days ago. So far the lucky recipients have been mostly dogs (“Da! Da-dee!” = “Dog! Doggie!”). His hug is an arm around the toy that brings it close to his face, and then he leans his head on it.

 

Sometimes, when he’s really feeling the love, he completes it with a contented little hum, like I do when I hug him. I know he’s my kid, so I’m biased, but let’s be honest. So. Darn. Cute.

 

He’s also started to hum along when we sing to him before he goes to bed. Sigh.

 

The little man may not use too many “words” proper yet, but he sure knows how to communicate his love.

 

November 9, 2011

I Need Somebody, Not Just Anybody

As the little flower that is our baby’s mind continues to blossom, Jacob is adding more words to his vocabulary. His signing vocabulary, that is. His verbal vocabulary is still mostly this:

 

Now, when I ask him, “Do you need help?” he responds with the sign for “help”. For as few words as he says (“da-deee” for Dad, dog, and most other things), it’s incredible to see how he makes the connection between the spoken word and the sign for it. He doesn’t do it quite “right” but the point is that I know what he means when he does it, and it allows him to get what he needs.

 

It’s clear that he understands the sound of word relates to the motion of his hands moving up and down, yet I’m not sure he truly understands the concept of “help”.

 

According to Jacob, he needs help when a toy rolls under a chair. Okay, I’ll take it.

 

He needs help when two toys get stuck together. Fine.

 

He needs help when he can’t reach his cup. Sure, I can help with that.

 

He needs help when there’s a platform he wants to be on at the playground. Um . . . hey buddy, there’s a kid-sized set of stairs right there.

 

He needs help when I’m working and he gets bored. Help with what? Help with playing.

 

“Help” to Jacob means Mommy does stuff with him, as much as for him. As long as he doesn’t get carried away (“Mommy, help me take my spelling test.” “Mommy, help me take out the garbage!”), that’s just fine with me.

November 8, 2011

Connecting Because We’re Disconnected

The other night John, Jacob and I went to visit some new friends we’d met at our church. They have a little boy just two months older than Jacob and the last time we met, the boys had a whole lot of fun playing together. This time wasn’t very different—except there was more hugging.  The other little boy thought Jacob’s head was really fun to hug. I have to say, I agree.

 

Probably because this time we (the parents) were on the floor with the two of them, there were only a couple of times that they had conversations with one another. And any time one of us (the parents) commented on how cute it was, they’d stop talking, look at us, and start doing something different. Oh, well. We still had a good time.

 

After we got home, I was on kind of a high. This couple is so grounded, so smart, and so much fun. Their little boy is super sweet, plus he has curly hair, which, on my hierarchy of baby cuteness is a very close third to 1) Jacob and 2) our friends’ babies (which he also falls under). We really enjoy this family’s company, but there was something more to the evening that I couldn’t put my finger on. A few hours later, I figured it out.

 

No one answered a call, sent a text, or checked an email during our entire visit. We were completely present to one another. And it felt so good.

 

I can’t say I’m entirely innocent, but most of the time when I’m with other people, I keep my phone out of the way. If I need to make a call or answer a text, I acknowledge what I’m doing, apologize for the interruption, and get it done with quickly.

 

I’m amazed when we have friends over or are out with people, and the same courtesy isn’t offered. It’s more texting than calling. So often I’ll have a friend communicating with someone else when they’re supposedly spending time with me. I think the assumption is that we’re friends and we can be casual with one another. But a visit with me is not a time to make plans with someone else. What that does is say to me, “Hey, you’re cool, but I have something more important going on that takes precedence.” Not okay.

 

I’m unsure as to what to do about it, because it seems such common practice and everyone else seems to accept it. But it doesn’t sit right with me, and this evening was a reminder of how great visiting with friends can be when we’re disconnected from everything else.

 

This is the kind of courtesy, attentiveness, and friendship I want to teach Jacob, and the only way I can do that is to model it myself—and encourage my friends to do the same.

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