Our Social Baby (A Thursday Paragraph)
We are visiting my mom in Illinois this week. It is fun to watch BabyC get to know her Nana again, as it has been several months since we’ve seen her. And while Oregon just turned cold and rainy on us last week, Illinois is boasting gorgeous fall days. We went on a little hike today through quiet woods to check out the sleepy Vermilion River. It was perfect.
Anyway, in soaking up the family time I have fallen behind on my writing for the blog, but I’ll be back on track with more parenting science for you next week. In the meantime, I made a promise to post a Thursday Paragraph each week, so here is this week’s installment:
Our Social Baby
Starting at around 8 weeks of age, BabyC let us know, in no uncertain terms, that she really only wanted to be held by her mother. Sometimes Dad would do, but that was only when all other conditions were perfect. There was no passing this sweet baby around at parties. During a visit at 4 months of age, even my own mother couldn’t hold her without BabyC’s lower lip quivering for a half second, followed by an eruption of tears. I tried hard to listen to BabyC and honor what she was telling me. She wasn’t ready to push the boundaries of her small comfort zone. I tried to not to dwell on my fear that our shy baby would grow up to be an anti-social kid. I used words like “sensitive,” “contemplative (she would rather study you from afar),” and “attached” to describe her. And I held her. Things continued this way until BabyC learned to crawl around 7 months. Once she could get around on her own, she slowly began to broaden her comfort zone, but now it was always on her own terms. She might approach a new person, pull up on their pant leg and say hello, but she knew she could always abort the mission and retreat to her mom and dad if things got weird. You would never think about calling her anti-social now, unless you tried to pick her up – she still only likes to be held by a handful of people with whom she has really built a trusting relationship. With this background, let me tell you what warmed my heart this week. Last weekend, we attended a wedding. When the time came to start the dancing, the music came on, and a handful of wild little kids hit the dance floor. BabyC took one look and then started crawling, full speed, towards the dance floor. We watched as she stopped just outside all those little feet and then started rocking back and forth to the music. She wanted to join the party! I let her take it in for a few moments and then went out to dance with her (even though I’m really a shy dancer myself). And then tonight, my mom was saying goodnight to BabyC before I took her up to bed. BabyC reached for her, went into her arms, gave her a brief hug, and then reached back for me. And then she waved goodbye. She seemed so confident in her expressions of affection and trust, and it made me very happy.
Our friend Squintmom posted her own Thursday Paragraph today – sweet thoughts on her little girl starting to pull up on things and testing gravity. Anyone else want to join up? All it takes is a paragraph…
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