This post is more of an observation than a poem I think, but worth a read – I hope! I wrote this as an observation at a children’s play-centre yesterday while my daughter and her friend played on the equipment and I sat drinking my tea trying to stay out of the way. I watched Mums and their babies and this is is what I noticed…
Baby Banter – an observation in learning through play
Children are curious creatures I’ve found,
always looking for a game or some mischief.
a baby looks around her curiously,
eyes darting, constantly seeking out something new to concentrate on.
Faces hold the most powerful lure,
a game is found in the most simplest of expressions,
the pure joy of a mother’s smile.
Soon a wide-eyed baby conversation of goo-goos and gaa-gaas
and Oh you’re such a clever girl!
An interesting conversation ensues,
mother speaks – then pauses
baby vocalizes – then listens.
She encourages Mum to keep the game going,
a game – yes – but a lesson also,
a lesson in listening and learning.
Learning to take it in turns,
when to have your say
and when to wait patiently.
Soon the game turns to searching out with little hands,
tiny fingers, like automatic pincers, learning to pick up – anything within her grasp,
a baby book, a rattle, mummy’s keys
or mummy’s hair!
A great game of tactile dexterity.
A finger – the best game
soon becomes a tasty toy.
Baby moves on to tasting shapes of objects,
including her own toes.
Soon she has something else to talk about…
mmm… becomes Mama
or marmite – my daughter’s first word!
Then sound becomes the best game,
dadada, bababa, brrrrgagaga
So exciting to a little mind
mesmerised by the surprising sound of her own voice.
‘Where is it coming from? Is that me?
Why is that happening and why do I get a smile from her
when I make that Mama sound?’
Now her body and its movements become a good game.
I can imagine her thinking,
‘If I kick my feet I can move this or knock that over.
If I wave my arms around and drop this off my highchair
Mama picks it up again.’
She laughs at Mama’s reaction and throws the toy again,
exploding into giggles like one of her noisy baby toys jiggling around on the floor
and banging the tray of the highchair in an excitable fit of flaying little limbs.
Mama lifts baby from the chair and stands talking to a friend,
baby is soon searching out activity.
She plays with Mama’s chin,
“Aww! Look she’s kissing you!” The stranger says.
‘A kiss?’ the baby thinks ‘I like this game!’