First Steps and Other Milestones by Heather Bowles
Good Saturday, ladies! I hope the weekend finds you relaxed and refreshed. So I have a new story to tell…
Tabitha’s daddy had a day off from work in the middle of the week, and whenever he is home, I usually take some time out to run errands, and just see the world outside our four walls, even if it only means a solo run to the grocery. It’s important to my mental health to do these things, and it gives me a sense of adult normalcy that doesn’t include being defined as Tabitha’s mother for an hour, sometimes two. So, during my weekly mini-vacation (haha! I never equated a grocery run to a spa treatment before, but whatever!) Tabitha walked for the first time. This is also the first time I have missed witnessing her performing a new feat for us, and as disappointed as I was at missing it, I think her daddy really enjoyed getting to tell me she did something new instead of the other way around.
She has also uttered her first word! If you remember, I was very worried about her lack of verbal communication a few weeks ago. She still engages in more baby babble that anything else, but the two words she’s gotten out in the last two weeks are significant in that the timing of them was relevant for the situation at hand, and in that way I know they held the appropriate meaning for her. So what was her first word? Okay, first… I think it’s time for an embarrassing confession.
When I was pregnant with her, I read all kinds of baby literature on development and growth patterns, particularly when it comes to the development of intelligence. Call me crazy, but I think it’s more important for the success of my child to be smart and people savvy than beautiful. As much as we now subscribe to the “Disney Princess Culture” in this house, it is not the most important thing for me to cultivate in her a sense of how to be physically attractive. She is a natural beauty anyway, so I don’t think we’ll have to work too much on that as long as we teach her the value of manners and proper public behavior.
I say all that to explain that I had no intention of ever letting this child watch television before the age of two years. Everything I’ve read says that it is suspected of contributing to the development of ADD and ADHD in susceptible individuals, as well as being an unacceptable substitute for the one on one interactions between parent and child that are so super crucial in these first months. TV gives no meaningful feedback, after all. So, as embarrassing as it is? Her first word was Lorax. Yes… from the Dr. Seuss movie and book by the same name. She loves this movie! I can put it on while I’m expressing my breast milk, and it buys me twenty five, sometimes thirty five minutes of peaceful, whine free time to check my Facebook and email. I guess you could say I’ve gotten real, not only in my expectations for her, but in my expectations for me. No one can be Supermommy all day, every day, and if it gives me a few minutes of down time and she’s entertained by the swirling colors in a film, it’s not going to kill her. I always preview anything she watches, even if it’s a twenty minute episode of Blue’s Clues, and we do plenty of playing and talking together, so she’s getting what she needs.
We’re buying her the book and if it can be found, a stuffed Lorax plushie for her birthday. Oh, and her second word was music to my ears: Mama.