My daughter is 5 months old. She giggles, smiles, rolls over, and kicks her legs like crazy but she still doesn’t have much understanding of the world around her. Often times I hear from friends and family “Why are you doing that [insert activity]? She doesn’t even understand.” There is a very simple answer to that question.
She will understand and it makes her smile with curiosity.
We’ve been reading to my daughter since she was about 2 weeks old (see my post on our love of books here). She couldn’t see or focus on the pictures, and she had no idea what was being said, but the sound of my or my husband’s voice soothed her. Now at 5 months old she still has no idea what the story is about, but now she enjoys the pictures and still the sound of our voice. We will keep reading and she will keep learning until one day she is reading her own stories. We will have a bond and a relationship that was fostered partly by that constant bit of time together, that will grown and flourish into other aspects of her life.
I read to my daughter because I like it. I read to my daughter because she is learning. I read to my daughter because it bonds us. I read to my daughter because it sparks her curiosity. And I don’t care that she doesn’t understand yet.
I’m a first time mom, and all of the milestones are so exciting to me. I can’t wait to hit the next one (while simultaneously crying over her getting older. My poor husband). I can’t wait for park adventures, children’s museum trips, and just general exploring, and I don’t wait. We do exploring that my little girl can enjoy now.
We just recently went to the zoo where she may not have seen or looked at the animals much but all of the trees and new sights were so exciting to her. She looked up in wonder and awe at the branches filled with bright green leaves over head. She laughed at the children playing in front of her. She smiled the entire time and slept so soundly that night. Yes, she has no idea that she saw elephants, lions, and bears but she did get to take in things that were new and exciting to her. In my opinion that is the definition of a successful day.
I will keep taking her to places that she “doesn’t understand” because she’s curious and I always want to foster her curiosity. No matter what her age.
That little smile and curious eyes are more important to me than the judgmental stares with wondering looks that say “that baby doesn’t even understand.”
Have you ever experienced this sort of sentiment from others about your little ones? How did you respond?