“Shhh shhh shhh” she whispered, urgently patting the baby on its back. A bit too urgently and the poor thing tumbled from her arms onto the peanut-butter stained carpet beneath. She then trod on the pink bundle of joy as she wandered off to eat a bit more PB&J sandwich and draw a new masterpiece.
Where on earth did she learn to do that I wondered? The next day it all became clear as I watched her daycare teachers lull their charges to sleep for nap time while Emily observed them intently, no doubt learning some more baby calming techniques to try at home.
A few weeks ago Emily sat in the bath “singing” and snapping her hands like an alligator. A song that I had no idea of the words to. She looked at me imploring me to join in but I couldn’t. With the help of her teachers we narrowed the song down to a very violent one involving cheeky monkeys being eaten by an alligator or “slippery fish” which documents the fate of various sea creatures getting snapped up by larger ones. Surely songs didn’t involve such unfortunate endings when I was her age?
I love that Emily is learning from other people. It’s also a slightly strange feeling: I feel like an outsider when she does something new that she’s learnt elsewhere. She has a separate life from me and she is sharing new experiences with people other than me. I know that this is the reality for many parents and I’m lucky to be able to spend so much time with her. We have chosen for her to spend a few hours a week away from home and I enjoy my time alone to recharge and she enjoys her time playing with new friends.
But I’m so excited to go pick her up and find out what she’s learnt this week.