Motherhood, Marriage and Other Wild Rides

Health, Happiness and the Pursuit of Mommyhood

Me Do! June 29, 2007

Filed under: Lacko Family Chronicles — rjlacko @ 6:28 pm

It was several months before I relented. My mother had not-so-gently nudged me to consider a childcare program—at least a few mornings a week—to allow myself time to enjoy a few of the luxuries I’d so carelessly taken for granted before motherhood, such as sleep, an uninterrupted yoga practice, or gainful employment. Nonetheless, I resisted dropping off the baby with anyone, anywhere, at any time.
We investigated the parent-baby playgroups so that Baby Joseph could kick off his young social life. However, these awonderful outings did nothing to further my ambitions of decent sleep and a paycheck.
Over a connecting flight last Christmas, we had the enormous blessing of meeting a couple with a child Joseph’s age who just happened to live in our neighborhood. They spoke very highly of their daughter’s caretaker and recommended we give her a call.
That was six months ago, and I am here today to say that Maria has become an integral part of our family. Understanding, patient and one heck of a cook, Maria, and the other little charges with whom Joseph shares his day, have excelled his motor skills, social abilities and—most exciting—his language proficiency!
All the children in the group are just slightly older; peers for play, absolutely, these little kids also demonstrate each day how one holds a spoon, walks, opens and closes doors and yes, talks.
Certainly, my husband and I play with our son daily, maintaining a constant dialogue with him. We read books, sing the alphabet and play educational videos, but when my little son pointed to the black, shiny handle of the gate to our garden and said, “me do!” he was echoing the exclamation of his little playmate friends. My heart swelled. Hearing my boy refer to me as “mum” at only six months was exhilarating; yet this meant so much more. A “whole” sentence, yes, but more importantly, a proclamation of self-knowledge: ME. He referred to himself, aware of himself as a different and separate person. This is big stuff, big philosophical stuff. He said those all-important words only an hour later about the doorbell. (He loves that doorbell, let me tell you.) I was so proud!
I read somewhere that at about one year, most children understand pretty much everything you say, but they are yet unable to speak. This was eye-opening in that I did wonder how much we said was going in one ear and out the other, and also caused me to listen more closely to exactly what our child hears on the television or radio.
Everyday, my little son points and names items around the house, repeats back words suggested to him, and chatters on in his own unfathomable babble. I positively cannot wait to understand everything he says and I’m so thrilled to have him know at last what it means when I say, “I love you.”

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