One difficult stage in any baby’s life is the stage when they are more and more mobile, and still do not have the ability to communicate clearly. That is what we are currently facing with my 14 month old.
He wants to be right in on the action with pretty much everything. He wants to be at our level while we are cooking so he can see what is going on. He wants to join in the fun with his siblings in their game of the moment. He wants to be able to communicate his feelings, but he just can’t. This can lead to frustration on the part of the mother and the child.
But, as parents, we shouldn’t underestimate out child’s abilities simply because they cannot verbalize what they are feeling. They understand so much. For example, today, I was babysitting for a friend. One of her children is a baby that is about 6 months old. There were a few times when I had to be holding her instead of my little guy. For the most part he was happy and content playing, but a few times, I could sense the jealousy. Like when I was trying to feed her a bottle, he obviously wanted to snuggle with mommy, too.
At one point, the little baby was in the walker while my bigger baby was standing next to it looking at the toy she had. I could tell that the toy had peaked his interest when he heard its familiar tune. So, he took it from her. The little baby started to fuss at her toy being taken away. And rightly so. But I knelt down next to my big baby and said, “No no. We have to share with the baby. Can you give it back to her?” He set it down on her tray again. I was overjoyed to see my baby learning a simple social skill like sharing so soon. He could tell I was proud of him because he smiled very big at my praise.
I have blogged before about how babies are people too. We should never forget that as we as parents help them navigate their world.