When Sofia was close to a year old, she took her toy cell phone and put it to her ear and started babbling into it. I shrieked with glee and pointed this out anyone who would watch, amazed by how incredibly smart my child was to have the cognitive ability to mimic this action…as if no other child has done this before. Every little milestone was pretty much treated the same way. After embarking on new actions she would see and hear my thunderous applause and smile at me knowing that she must have done something absolutely brilliant to have encouraged such a reaction!
The scene was replicated this weekend when my son picked up his sister’s cell phone and put it to his ear with an exclamation of “HA-YA” into it. I shrieked and clapped and called my husband over to see what our smart little man had figured out. Dominic looked at me with a little bit of a startle at first wondering what all of my fuss was about, and then gave me a little coy smile as he continued to talk into the phone. Every time he did it later that afternoon my exclamation of joy continued, while my husband (who agreed it was wonderful) was much more over the initial shock and awe.
I guess it’s a no brainer that it is the every day actions our children watch and follow by example. While each new thing that they do is exciting in its own right it is a reminder, and sometimes a wake up call, that we are their very first teachers. Some lessons are taught just by going about your day.