E is for Exploring Toddler
I was stuck on one word for my motherhood ‘E’ and I had to pick my hubby’s brain for more ideas. When he said, ‘Exploring’, I knew that was it … I wondered why I didn’t think of it earlier. Does that happen to you sometimes?
To explore is to learn … discover … grow … enjoy … live. Exploration ignites our imagination, fans our amazement, satisfies our curiosity, and makes life so much more refreshing and exciting. Exploring helps us to discover our strengths and limits. It helps us to identify qualities and abilities we wouldn’t have known we possessed otherwise.
The desire to explore seems to be an innate human quality, and it’s definitely one we should take care not to stifle in our children.
I think my Precious Sparkle started exploring in my womb. I’ve always been curious about what he got up to during the nine months or so that he was there. I know he ate, grew, moved, and slept in the watery dark sac that is my womb … I wonder if he thought and dreamt.
I remember being very surprised when I saw him drinking some amniotic fluid and playing with his umbilical cord with his little fingers, during our 4D scan. I didn’t know babies had such particular movement abilities whilst in the womb; I suppose I never thought about it.
Then of course, there was his reaction to light after he was born: opening and closing his eyes until he learnt how to adjust them accordingly. Our breastfeeding latching journey is quite a story, one I’ll be recounting sometime soon. We explored it together, learnt what worked and what didn’t, and got there in the end. Also, his varied use of his lungs to communicate his feelings at different points and for different reasons was a shock to my eyes and heart at the start.
In his first few months, I remember seeing him move in different ways and stare at his fingers from different distances to his face. He sometimes seemed to move them in a similar way to what I saw during our 4D scan. I remember the increasing and diverse movements in different parts of his body, until he could turn, roll, crawl, climb, and now walk.
It was intriguing to learn (during my postnatal course) that the aim of massaging his toes, in addition to his feet, was to help him know they are there! I’m still very surprised that he had to discover his toes. Indeed, I wish I knew much earlier that he had to pretty much discover everything, then I would have paid more attention to his explorations and engaged with them more.
I remember when he seemed to first notice his private part during a bath time; I was beside myself. My husband told me that was normal for boys and he thought my reaction funny and was over the top.
We have since watched him exploring his nostrils, tongue, and other things; sometimes consistently, other times here and there. Oh, the amazement in the first time he discovered grass and when he initially encountered balloons … the wonder of watching him handling his MAM Bite and Play teether and so many other things.
It is so intriguing to hear him explore his ability to make increasingly complex sounds and match the words we say to their respective objects. Even more exciting is listening to him repeat, understand, and correctly use some of the words he hears (post to follow). I am taken in by his strength and personality, and how he shows them in different situations. These of course continue to develop as he explores what he is capable of.
He is so curious; willing to go to places I wouldn’t dare (post to follow). I am so glad I’m not passing my animal phobias to him.
I have to ‘protect’ my nostrils, eyes, and mouth from his exploring fingers. I’ve also learnt that wearing dangling earrings when they’re within his reach, is a bad idea. Nothing on us and in our house is safe from his exploration; and every space within his reach is waiting to be discovered.
I am very pleased he is such an explorer, I suppose we all started like that. I hope that my husband and I will know God’s help to really nurture this in him. I also pray he will learn to become the best he can be through his many discoveries. What a privilege to support him and participate in his explorations.
Do you like exploring?
What is your baby’s or your most surprising exploration?
My April 2015 #AtoZChallenge
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