Thanks for being here.
I just got off the phone with my MIL who asks, is she sleeping on her own yet?
But I really needed to come back to these boards after we visited a bookstore this weekend. Dh wanted to Christmas shop for me, I took Dd to the kids section so as to limit her damage potential (I have a thread on letting her loose in the store).
There I met two of the most grating parents I've ever beheld. Dads, I'm sorry to say. Pitting a competition against their two toddlers, over who can do what.
I took Dd over to some stuffed animals and got out a snake. I showed her how nice and soft it was and what a silly face it had, but the other kids, a little older, saw her and started to run up to her. Dd is cautious and reserved, and dropped the snake and came back to me, to just hold on and take in the situation until she figured out what was going on.
Dad of the older kid waves the snake at her and says "Zeldegarde (my name for argument's sake), what color is this snake?"
Dad: Yes! Right!! What color is That Girl's (pointing to Dd) clothes???
Zeledegard barely took a look at Dd's purple outfit. "Yellow," she said. Guess since it was right once, she'd go with it again.
Dad went into a whole lesson about the purple, then the drilling started again.
I know this man means well for his child, and I do not judge him in any way, I don't think it's possible based on this one incident, nor is it my place. What I do notice is that my parenting style is sooo different. I do not teach, I do not quiz. I talk to Dd, we do things together (she likes to clean food stains underneath the high chair with me, we talk about who has the yellow sponge and who has the pink one, how funny and squishy they are, what fun is is to use the spray bottle and scrub until the spots are gone).
Mostly I emphasize use of the senses, and that we are having fun together. There is lots of conversation with and around Dd, between me and Dh.
I think it is important that Dd learn that she is loved (and for who she is, not what she can do), has people she can rely on, to observe and use her senses to take things in, and to develop a sense of enjoyment. If all that is in place, the important facts and figures will come on their own, I am certain.
Part of why I feel this confidence is from being around the boards here. I think if I had walked into that store and seen this, without the support of everyone here, I would be sitting her seriously questioning my approach right not. Not to say that I wouldn't come right to where I am, but with a lot more angst.