Oh so well said, Mrs. Kennedy. You know what she was speaking of, I know you do. Seemingly insignificant nanoseconds that made you smile, or cry. The tiny pieces of life that stir emotion and instill memorability.
Your mother said it was “gas”, but you knew he smiled at you when he was just a few days old. Sorry, mom was probably right. The experts say that social smiles don’t start until about two months of age.
Health wise, this is an important development. It is a definitive way for your health care provider to gauge growth and brain function. Now he knows how to get your attention, this is the road to understanding how he is supposed to act. You smile at him, he smiles back. Rudimentary communication- and a life moment not to be missed.
The first two years are packed full of “firsts”, full of key moments, don’t forget to preserve them for posterity. As your son or daughter begins to exhibit a distinct personality, they are beginning to change the world around them. Little hands become dexterous and little voices become distinctly recognizable. Yes, they laugh; wonderful , appropriate deep belly laughs. These are the fleeting sounds of the immediate moment. Record them, save them and share them – then someday they will be able to see for themselves the moments of their childhood.
Communication skills grow by leaps and bounds during the first 24 months of life. Cooing becomes babbling and then the babbling has intonation. Amazing! You wait for it, you wait impatiently, then one day, there it is; the infamous first word. Actually, more like first recognizable sounds. “Da da”, or “ba ba” might be a little easier at first than “ma ma”. Language acquisition is a process. The tiny brain is working at warp speed sorting out the sounds that surround them. First comes receptive language. They begin to associate words and objects – the sounds take on meaning. Expressive language skills follow, now they are able to say words with meaning. Let the good times begin!
In the blink of an eye, they are verbal and on the move. Crawling, walking, climbing; where did the time go? Never mind trying to keep up with the Joneses, it is all you can do to keep ahead of housework, career challenges and the tiny human evolving right before your eyes. The endless series of small increments in time that comprise their childhood deserve to be remembered.
Between the ages of two and five you will marvel at the physical, social, emotional and cognitive changes that just keep on happening. On average you will notice about three or four pounds in weight gain and three inches in growth. Sure, document the growth in the old tried-and-true measured markings on the door frame. It is cute, and it is a visual reminder of moments past, but sooner or later you may move. You track the growth and we’ll help you keep track of it no matter where you live.
Cognitive development begins to become prevalent. Oh what fun it is to hear them count to ten or recite the alphabet, even if it comes out “lemon yellow pee” instead of L,M,N,O,P. Oh sure, they will be embarrassed when they hear it some day, but hey, it is a life moment not to be forgotten.
As sensory and motor skills evolve you will be inundated with drawings of stick people and rainbows. These are the tangible reminders the formative years. Years that you will forever hold dear, yet years that sadly, they will never remember.
Early memories are sporadic at best. A developing brain simply does not have the capability to store everything. At best, early memories begin about age three to four. “Childhood amnesia” is a coined expression that simply means the inability to recall events from the early days of development. As a parent, you are the curator of the tiny milestones and moments that make Jack or Jill who they are and likely who they will become.
Be involved in your child’s life. Take a little bit of time every day to think of all those treasurable moments your child spent today and that one day they will like to relive them. Today there is a myriad of tools that advice you on how to capture these moments the best way. Articles , Blogs and Applications, such as StepsLife allow new moms to discover how to keep track of these key moments that make a difference in your child’s life.