Thursday, May 7, 2015

Developments

A few weeks ago I had an epiphany related to babies "calling their mothers" Mama.  I'm not sure I could have realized it had I not had my own child, but it hit me one day that since "mama" is one of the first sounds a baby makes ("mamamamamama.." is more accurate,  in Noni's case at least), then at some point in times past Mama just came to be the name that was given to mothers. That was the realization.  Then it made more sense to me that it's not really that the baby's "first word" is Mama and that she/he is referring to her/his mother as that.  What seems more likely to me is that all that preparation for speaking or making verbal sounds (which manifested in the form of constant spitting over our way around months four and five) hits a high point when babies are finally able to vocalized the mama and baba sounds as well as others. 

It's really common sense when you think about it, but I guess I hadn't. 

So, I thought about all this again recently when considering other milestones that babies reach on their journey through infancy.  In my last post I talked about Noni now being at a point where she dances and gives me and her daddy kisses.  (And they actually are her version of kisses and not attempts to bite, as I'd speculated, since we can ask for kisses and she gets what we're saying and responds accordingly--most times anyway).  Over the past few weeks she's also started clapping and waving.  What's interesting is that even though I'd made attempts to teach her all of these actions, I know--just from being with her all day everyday and witnessing her developments literally as they occur--that she's doing these things naturally and not because of what I was wanting her to do and therefore attempted to show her how.  With the exception of the kisses, I'm pretty certain of this.

So, when she became aware enough of sound in the form of beats and rhythms, she began to move in response to them--what we call dancing.

When she could coordinate putting her hands together at the same time repeatedly hard enough to make a sound or just in general, she did it--what we call clapping.

And when she realized that she could hold her arm up and move her wrist up and down or flex four fingers up and down, she delighted in doing so--what we call waving.

As time progresses and she starts to more and more clap to or about something or wave at someone or something, then those actions will be more in the context of the meaning which we've come to give them.

All of this--from the sounds right down to the waving--has been an incredible learning experience for me as I witness more and more everyday what all goes into a baby growing and developing into a non-baby.  

I had a really good point to make about all of this, but somewhere between singing songs, playing countless fun/silly games, and keeping the child from diving from the bed to the floor, it escaped me.  

Anyhow, here she is in one of her many jubilant moments showing her two new top teeth! 



She didn't necessarily exhibit the actions of teething as much with these as she did with the bottom two, but I recall her gums being swollen for a while.  Then, one day a couple weeks ago, they came through. She has not confusion about how to use them either. 


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