As I write this post, Pia is already 2 years and 11 months old – yes, she is turning 3 years old next month (!!!) and I am reminded at how time has flown and how quickly my baby is growing up so fast! Huhuhu!
I can actually still recall the night/morning that I gave birth to her and how much love and joy she has given to Rhenee and I right from the time we found out we were pregnant and even up to now as she is set to celebrate her 3rd birthday.
I’ve always believed and tried to practice the principles of RIE i.e. Respectful Intentional Parenting and I have seen for myself the benefits that it has brought in Pia’s development from an infant to a toddler. One of the principles of RIE is observing your child whatever she may be doing and it is actually one of the joys of parenting/motherhood to see your child develop into an emotionally intelligent, sociable and unique human being all on her own, with just a bit of patient guidance and discipline from us, her parents. I, for one, love to just watch and observe and listen to Pia when she is busy ‘learning at play’ and here are some of my personal and intimate observations of her:
She is naturally joyful: she’s almost always smiling, giggling and laughing at the most simplest of things. She loves to laugh and giggle at the most mundane and simplest of things but esp. when her Daddy or Mommy tickles her.
She is also naturally loving: she loves to give hugs and kisses, even pouting her mouth to give us a kiss when she feels like it or when we, Daddy and/or Mommy asks for it. I’ve noticed though that this pouting of the mouth and kissing on the lips is very, very exclusive to Daddy and Mommy, which is a good thing!!! For others when you ask her for a kiss or to kiss, she will just give her cheek for the other person to plant the kiss on. 😉
She is also a confident and friendly child, I say that because she already knows what she likes and what she wants and is confident and comfortable in asking for it. I have observed that when we are around other people, either among friends or strangers, she does not hide behind or cling to the edge of Mommy’s or Daddy’s pants unlike some small children. She will stand on her own and even mingle with people she doesn’t know. She especially likes to approach other children, older or younger than her, and likes to engage them in play or conversation. It is actually very fun to watch when this happens because of the different reactions she gets from the other child/children. Most would engage with her but there are some who would act scared or indifferent to her bold, confident approach towards them.
She is creative. She loves to get her hands dirty and messy with paint and colors. She also likes to create with her Play-Doh clay, wooden blocks, and Lego Duplo blocks.
A recent activity that she likes to do is to cut colored paper into different shapes and sizes using her child-friendly scissors. Honestly I didn’t actively teach her how to do that (i.e. cut paper with scissors) but she has learned to do it on her own and I was amazed and surprised to see that she could now do it by herself. Another recent observation while we were having our coloring activity for the Holy Heroes Lenten Adventure was that she could now trace the lines and curves of what she was coloring. She didn’t do this a few months back and it was such a joy to behold that she had developed her fine motor skills, slowly but surely, all following her own timetable and schedule.
She is musical and has a natural sense of rhythm. She loves to make music with her play instruments, be it the piano, organ, drums, trumpet, or egg shakers. She loves to sing and make up songs that has her own tune and lyrics; she especially likes to change the lyrics to some of her favorite nursery rhyme songs. And she loves to dance: twirling, swinging and jumping about – both to fast and slow music.
She loves to read and is an active learner. Since Rhenee and I had decided earlier on that we would home-school Pia in her pre-school years (or maybe even beyond, until high-school perhaps?), we’ve exposed her to the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, etc. by constant, daily reading of books and a bit of watching of educational short videos on YouTube. We’ve been reading through her since she was born (actually it should have been done even while she was in the womb) and much to my amazement, she can already count and identify numbers, say her alphabet and identify the letters of the alphabet, plus she knows her colors and shapes! And all of this without any formal instruction but just reading, reading, reading plus being attentive and observant with her when she points out and asks about things that she sees, hears, feels and tastes.
And due to her love for reading and active interaction with people, as young as she is (remember she’s not yet 3 years old), she is already a very eloquent conversationalist. She already knows a lots of words and phrases, and can already speak to you in complete sentences – most especially when she wants to asks you for something! 😉 Quite a lot of people, friends and strangers alike, have approached Rhenee and I, to say that they are surprised that she can already speak so well and that her diction and pronunciation of words is clear and distinct at only 2 years of age. Our usual answer is we just read to her a lot, in addition conversing with her in complete sentences and proper language (i.e. we never used baby talk with her growing up).
She also loves to play outdoors. On most days after Rhenee sends me to the office, they will go to the open park and playground near the place where we stay. She loves to climb, ride the swing, slide and jog around the open spaces. She plays with the other children in the playground, even if she had just met them that day. Don’t you just love that about children? 🙂
She also loves to go to church and pray. Most days after the playground, Rhenee would take her to our local church to pray inside the church. We’ve taught her some simple, basic prayers and she even sings some of the service hymns with us when we attend the Holy Mass together as a family. Just yesterday at Mass, she knelt together with me during the time of the consecration without being told. She also sings and prays with us during our worship time in our CFC household meetings, and even raises her hand in worship when Rhenee and I serve together in the CFC Music Ministry during prayer assemblies.
I truly believe that children learn what they live, and that we, parents are their children’s first and best teachers. That is why Rhenee and I are committed to be the best that we can be for Pia.
We love you, our dear Pia, and praise and thank you so much Lord for giving her to us to love and care for. AMDG!