When Emma was born, there were so many things I wanted to teach her. I had it all mapped out and planned. Then something strange happened- Emma began teaching HERSELF stuff. I would watch her and ask JR, “Did you teach her that?” and he didn’t. Emma was learning on her own. I sometimes look at her and cannot believe she’s the same little girl I had almost a year ago. She has grown so much and is learning so fast- faster than I could have ever imagined. She takes everything in and is so adventurous. It makes learning a pretty easy thing for her. Here are some things Emma has taught herself, without us having to teach her:
She claps. On one of the first days of the Olympics, JR and Emma had a daddy-daughter moment watching the competitions take place. The crowds would clap and cheer as they watched. Out of nowhere, the crowd started clapping and Emma did, too. Emma has always been a clapper as she loves games of patty cake and saying “yea!” but this was all new. Where did she learn this? Where did she pick it up? She just learned on her own. She also claps to music. This part we love. And we didn’t teach her how to do this. At all. My friend Deborah is pretty sure it comes naturally as JR and I both are music people. Who knows. The main point is we didn’t teach her. She just started clapping one day to music and now she does it whenever she hears music playing. Well, she claps AND dances. My child is a mover and a groover, that’s for sure.
She cheeses. It was the cutest thing the first Emma gave a big, huge grin. We had smiled at her before but not like that. She scrunches her eyes together and has the biggest smile ever on her face. Now we tell her to “cheese” and she makes the face. The other night, we were out to dinner with our friends Darren and Anna and Emma was enjoying a meal of green beans. Every time she would take a bit, she would look at Darren and cheese. He would laugh and she would keep on, over and over again. I’m pretty sure she was thinking to herself, “That Darren, I love to entertain him”.
She uses the phone. Believe it or not, Emma learned how to use a phone quickly. Does she know how to make calls? No, thank goodness, but she picked up the purpose of the phone fast. One day, she took one of our phones and put it up to her ear. No way! She does this regularly now with our phones as well as her play phones. The other day she was playing with JR and she learned how to say “hello” when she picks up the phone, too. That one was taught. It’s so precious. The first time I saw it, I reacted like she had found a cure for cancer. Hey, she’s my baby and her poop is cute so back off.
She loves on us. Now granted, we have always loved on her but we’ve never expected or taught her to give love in return. She just picked up on it. One night, we were out with our small group at Cheddars and she tugged at JR’s arm. He leaned down and she wrapped her whole body around him and squeezed. I couldn’t miss out on the fun so I had to get a hug, too. It may be the most fulfilling thing as a parent to have your child love you back. She doesn’t have to say a thing. When she gives us this kind of love it’s just a special reminder that she cares for us like we care for her. I don’t think I could ever forget this “first”.
She has a routine. Some things we taught her as a routine. She knows what to expect about certain things because that’s what we’ve purposely taught her to do. There are other things, however, that she has picked up completely on her own. For example, she knows bedtime is all about mommy. She loves her daddy with everything in her and she is 100% daddy’s girl, however, bedtime is time for her and mommy to bond. It usually goes like this- Emma has bathtime, gets ready for bed, and plays a little with daddy. Then, she will start rubbing her eyes, look at me, and reach out. I love it. It is rare that she picks me over him so I eat it up. I grab her up and we go cuddle. Bedtime routine just happened and it’s how she feels the most comfortable. We don’t rock Emma to sleep but we don’t put her right down. I hold her until her paby falls out and that’s how we know she’s good to go. Another routine she has developed is her mornings. She wakes up early, usually around 6-6:30, but not to wake up for good. She wants us to come get her and then cuddle with her so she can go back to sleep. I absolutely love this. We snuggle for about an hour and then she wakes up and is ready to eat. Have I mentioned that Emma is a cuddly baby? It amazes me. Most baby girls seem to be so independent but Emma yearns for her cuddle time. And truth is, mommy and daddy do, too.
These are the things Emma has learned and I’m sure more will be coming our way soon. Our little girl is growing up and quickly moving towards toddler age. Watch out world, here she comes!
What things have your kids learned all on their own? What have you watched them do and thought, “where did they learn that?”