Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Child's Pace

I came across a phrase on one of my newest-most-fav blogs today: "Childhood is not a race".  (Check out www.howweelearn.com for tons of amazing art, craft and play inspirations).  

I'm going to tweak that phrase a tiny bit and say "Babyhood is not a race".  For many years now I've firmly believed in doing things with children at their own pace.  Granted, sometimes you just need to get somewhere quickly and the child's pace might be just a bit too slow, so you have to hustle...but at least once a day it's important to slow down to the child's pace.  Even if you're an adult sans children it's important to slow it down.  Slowing down helps one appreciate the simplest of things, I think.

Sometimes I get caught up in all the ideas I have for Charlee.  Her future elementary school, the German play group I want to enroll her in, dance lessons, volunteering in Cambodia with her...the list goes on.  Once my mind gets going I start getting really excited about all these fun things we can do with Charlee and then I remember she's only a baby.  We need to appreciate this time NOW.

People like to compare and contrast children.  Before I had a baby, even though I am an educated teacher and should know better, I was one of these people.  I'd be like, "Well Jonny can do this hard math, but Jennie can't even add yet, but they are the same age and Jennie is taller than Jonny so she should be able to add and what am I supposed to do!?"  Now that I have Charlee, my wise little teacher, I realize that's just how it is.  I also know that height has nothing to do with one's mathematical abilities, obviously.  While out and about these days I get asked these questions, once we establish the boy or girl thing:

1) How old is she?  (Almost nine months).

2) Crawling yet?  (No). 

3) Teeth?  (Nope).

My answers to their questions set off a cacophony of something along these lines:

Really? Not crawling? But she's almost 9 months! No teeth? Really? My daughter's best friend's sister's baby is only 6 months old and already has FIVE teeth and is pulling herself up on couches!

I'm sure you fellow mamas have all experienced these types of interactions at some point in your wanderings with your own babies.  Most people finally come to their senses and end our brief encounters with the agreement that "all babies grow at their own pace".  Yep, they sure do!  The way I see it is the longer Charlee takes to learn to crawl, the longer my sanity will stay intact.  She will do things at her own pace.  She won't be this little forever, and just like she learned to sit up on her own literally overnight, she will learn to crawl just as quickly.  Then walk.  Then run.  Then ride a bike.  Then go to school.

So for now, we are doing things at her pace and it's perfect just the way it is.

Charlee's first art project - elephant hand prints.

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