My girls and I do a lot of things together. We connect through every day activities; we cook (KK stirs), we clean (Emmers does laundry – hooray!), we eat together (sometimes not very neatly), we shop together, etc… In a lot of ways, I think it’s easier to connect with them now, mainly because, well, they talk, and because they can do so many things right by my side now.
But looking back, I realize that some of the ways we connect now really started when they were babies.
I’ve written about how the girls and I connect with music in the car, and that started right from the start. I always felt it was important to expose Emmers to the music I love and share with her the joy I get from that. I loved to watch her dance, waving her small hands and wiggling her tiny feet as she sat in her car seat.
I’ve also always talked to my girls (this may just be because I enjoy hearing myself…LOL). I can remember having KK in the tub, asking her questions and waiting to hear her respond back to me. She’d babble or blow a raspberry and I’d say something like, “Oh yes, I completely agree, underage monkeys should be provided with benefits and health insurance when their parents are employed by the circus.” And she would laugh at me!
Same thing for cooking – I’d pull the highchair into the kitchen and give the kids bits of food to play with (Emmers loved to “shred” lettuce for tacos, but honestly there was more on the floor than ended up in the bowl!) and commentate on what the steps in the preparation were, in my best Emeril or Justin Wilson voice. (Like I said…I enjoy hearing myself. I crack myself up with the voices!)
I have to thank my mother for the fact that the girls and I clean together now…she used to give Emmers a rag and have her toddle from room to room wiping the baseboards as Nana cleaned…and Emmers LOVED it! Even to this day she enjoys dusting…and we love spoofing the Swiffer ads! We sing “Baby Come Back” and dance with the feather duster and the mop.
The ways you connect with your little one from the very start help define the ways that you will continue to connect with them. I think that all those hours of one-sided chit chat in their baby days helped us be in the habit of connecting and talking today, and I hope that all of the connecting we do today helps us be able to continue to connect as we enter the teenage years (scary!).
What ways are you connecting with your baby today and how do you see those ways evolving as baby becomes a little person?