I have been (fairly) obsessed with the development of my little boy, very much as I was with Shannon when she was going through the stages of learning to roll over, sit, crawl and pull herself up. I monitored her growth and weight gain, when she got her first tooth, how long her hair was (or wasn't). I am in the same mode now with Jordan. And he is coming along nicely. He crawls, rolls over, sits, eats solid food, plays by himself and alongside his sister, pulls himself up on the furniture and has two bright, white teeth. I check his developmental milestones weekly, make sure he is keeping up and doing all the things he is meant to. Shannon has milestones too. I haven't checked for a long time what should be happening with her. What did I expect? She has mastered all the major baby ones so that's it? She has not finished developing yet so...
...I looked up 4 year olds. Their world is magical.
Everything they see and do, think and hear has an impact on their lives and the way they develop. I was merely going through the motions of parenting. Scientifically. Making sure I taught her how to behave, how to eat properly at the table, when to be polite and nice. I focussed on her clumsiness, her inability to sit still, her lack of decible control and her argumentativeness. I took my eye off the ball for a while and I missed out on some of her magic. Now I'm back on her side I see her enthusiasm, her vitality and energy, her need to be heard and her desire for autonomy. . I was not experiencing life through her eyes. Not learning from her about the exciting world of childhood. She still has a lot to learn, but so do I!
I am far more excited to fetch her from school now, I start to think about it from about 10am rather than 2pm. I am desperate to hear what she thinks of her day. Who she played with, which superhero she transformed into, what she understands from their lesson. They are learning about dinosaurs this week.
Shannon's development is no less exciting than young Jordan's. They both have many years of major milestones ahead of them. I want to experience them all. Twice. Through the eyes of two unique and special individuals. I don't want to miss the magic.
One magic moment happened recently. On Monday I took Shannon to the hairdresser to get a propper little girl haircut, rather than the straggly look she was sporting and, to my amusement, my expectations of how the session would go could not have been more off track. I have found with Shannon that with enough preparation beforehand she is capable of going tentatively into an unknown situation and experiencing it without too much trouble. Not this time.
I had explained to her about having her hair cut by someone else. I explained about having it washed first. I told her how much fun it is. She was excited. I forgot that she had NO concept from my descriptions of what she was about to go and do. She refused the wash in a panic, refusing to even go close to the contraption, she was terrified(she told me later that she musn't get her clothes wet so they can't wash her hair!). She eventually agreed to sit on the chair for cutting purposes and, doing all the things she had to do, like keeping her head straight and sitting up nicely, she maintained the most adorable cross face you can imagine. I've never seen it on her before. Not like that. I wish I could have taken a picture! When we left she asked "are we going to the hairdresser now?" I couldn't have got that one more wrong, could I?
Mother of two
8 years ago