I love you more また会う日まで

DSC05662 This little guy is the one whom I spent more time than anyone else other than my husband in Montreal. I feel like it’s just like yesterday when we met for the first time. We never knew that we would end up saying bye bye in the Netherlands. He was only 3 months old back then. He was a lot tinier and seemed so fragile. Of course he couldn’t walk and say any words at all. I didn’t even know how I should hold a baby. I didn’t even know how to change a diaper. And when he started crying? I absolutely had no idea why he was upset. The job contract was for 2 years and the end of it sounded just so far away.

A lot of my friends asked me what I would do with this little boy. I guess they thought there’s nothing I could do while this baby had no clue what I was talking about and physically incapable of moving. I thought a bit and my answer was pretty simple. I decided to be his narrator. Babies have no means to express their emotion. They probably don’t even recognize their emotion. I believe maybe it’s more like sensation. If they feel comfortable, they smile. If they don’t, they just simply cry. Anything we did, saw, felt, heard, smelled, and tasted, I narrated everything for him. I sang lots of songs and read him a lot of books too. He probably had no idea what I was talking about but I just kept talking to him, believing that one day, he will pick up some words and would start guessing what those words would mean.

His first smile, rolling over, steps, words etc, there were tremendous things I ever encountered for the first time in my life. I was pretty touched by his every sign of his development so I guess I would cry if that’s my own kid. And then one day, it happened. He started copying what I said. That was the moment I was waiting for.

My parents were always authoritarian. Whenever I did something bad, I was always put in a dark room and they never let me out unless I said “sorry”. I said sorry so I could get out. When they said “no”, there wasn’t much explanation. no meant no. I understand that that’s how they were protecting me from anything dangerous but I just can’t agree with their parenting style. All I remember is fear.

That’s why I went completely opposite. Since he started copying me, I rather spoke slowly and as long as whatever he was trying to to do was harmless, I let him try. Especially after he started walking, his exploration began. He took out stuff from kitchen drawers, took his freshly cleaned cloths out of the laundry basket while I was folding them, tried to touch the heater in winter etc. I repeatedly told him, “you know what I would do? I would put those utensils back in the drawer after I use” showing him how. Of course, when he copied me, I praised him so much. eventually he started putting them back as he finished using them. I repeatedly said “can you pick one of your cloths from the basket? I need one to fold”. Again, I praised him so much as he did so. Eventually he started helping me out with folding cloth without telling him (BTW, eventually we came up with this matching game. I had him pick up the pair of socks. great way to learn different colors and patterns!) I repeatedly said “Oh the heater is hot! better not to touch if you don’t wanna get ouchy!”. He touched it a couple of times showing his face “oh-oh, it’s really hot” to me and eventually he stopped touching it.

I noticed kids can go crazy, yet they still love the ideas of following rules. They love to do what we do. It’s just that we need to be patient and observe them. Just like we the grown ups learn from our own experience, they also learn from their experiences. That’s how they learn their world. And I was truly underestimating his capability of comprehension. Little ones can understand what we tell them a lot more than we imagine. DSC05043 We had so much fun together. I enjoyed letting him explore his world and seeing his development. I feel very lucky to be a part of it. And this is why I love to work with kids.

Now he’s one proud preschool student.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure where my career would head to. The field of education is pretty broad. It could be at preschool, day care, elementary school, middle school, or higher education. But this baby taught me how much I love working with kids. I don’t know how many years would take to get a position like the one that I had at the international school in Japan, but I will try to get there someday.

Baby, you always told me you love me. I love you too. You have no idea how much I love you.

Thank you for the great 2 years. I will miss the time we spent together. See you when I come visit here again with my husband! DSC05764













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