Playing at making a phone call

DS has discovered the phone and is loving picking up and chittering away with all the intonation of a sophisticated conversation. And DH and I have been encouraging him by modeling “hallo” as we hold something to our ear.

It turned into a bit of a farce today when visiting IL’s (funky ones). 4 adults were sitting together encouraging a little boy to play with the phone, and I started  to feel a bit uncomfortable with the picture we were creating.

I confess myself somewhat smitten with the idea of a little child not being the entertainment for the adults, but rather the adults modeling behavior for the little child. This makes sense to me on many levels. Mostly, I do not want DS under some sort of pressure to perform or meet an arbitrary expectation. I am hoping to create a reality for my DS where *he* is able to define what is important. Where he is left free to explore and understand the world around him. I cannot possibly know how he is understanding what happens around him. So many things are firsts for him and I want him to make sense with the tools he has – I do not want to impose my ‘sense’ on him….

All of the above is my complicated way of saying that he is a small child and does not relate to the world in the same way that I do as an adult. He is only begining his journey into understanding the world, and if I know anything, it is that the drive to discover for yourself is very strong. It doesn’t help how much others want to help and push their experience and insight – until you have your own experience, it is pretty much meaningless.

So, next time we are visiting the IL’s, DH and I have decided we will not praise DS if he gets something ‘right’. For now he only needs to be. Any value that we put on what he does, does not necesarily reflect the true value of what DS is learning and experiencing. Us adults really do have a hard time breaking out of our linear experience of the world.

And it is magical to watch as DS does start to express himself in more easily recognisable ways – like imitating me on the phone, his face lighting up when he hears the skype ring on my computer and he knows that he will see someone (grandparents) on the screen, or his delight at building towers out of his blocks, swirling water in a bucket or pushing the cat around on a chair. This process of unfolding is truely magical to observe.

I am one in love mama.


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