Out of the Games Cupboard

A random assortment of reflections, musings and a running commentary on life.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Milestones & Transitions

It is a great pleasure watching Ellie grow, learn and try to make sense of the world around her. She is a bright, confident, curious and happy child. Of late I've been particularly struck by how well she verbally expresses herself. When younger, she would sometimes get frustrated if we did not understand what she was trying to tell us; now she tries different words and ideas if we don't get it. That said, we increasingly do get it - her saying "I want the song that makes my heart sing" was soon correctly interpreted as a request to listen to 'Wild Thing' by The Troggs!

On reflection, much of what I read to prepare me for impending fatherhood focussed on "milestones". This makes sense as these are the one-off, life-changing moments that most fledgling humans need to go through at some time or another; first steps, first word, first solid food etc. But, once they've done them, there over with. They are really a way of checking your child is developing 'normally'. Subsequently, they are really a way of reassuring sleep-deprived parents that it's all worth it!

Now, I read a fair bit in anticipation of Ellie's arrival - not as much as I meant to, I admit, but more than I think I needed. But I don't remember life's transitions getting much print area.

I've realised in recent months that Ellie has changed in subtle ways and I don't have a clue when the changes happened: she now uses grown-up cutlery, she chooses her own clothes, she requests to go to bed when she's tired, she dresses herself, she goes to the toilet by herself, she uses scissors and glue without assistance, she requests playing certain games, she problem-solves, she makes up stories, she describes her dreams (so beautiful!), she swims properly etc etc etc.....

I would say that these transitions and changes are far more enjoyable for me than the milestones were. They show less of how 'normal' she is and more of what a 'person' she is and how she is constantly changing. So I would say to any potential parents not to be too sad if they miss being around for a milestone - the transitions, which happen all the time, they won't miss. They won't spot them whilst they're happening, but you can certainly notice the difference.....

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At 4:39 AM, Blogger Richard G. Clegg said...

I can't use scissors and glue without assistance yet. :-)


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