Monday, March 18, 2013

Lesson #1: You Have a Body

At age 21 months, MaryAnn is my only child that is deeply embedded in the Attachment Stage. My other children, though happy to come and cuddle occasionally or kiss us good night, spend most of their time further along the path, learning and exploring in their individual realms.

So I'm soaking up these attachment lessons like MaryAnn's my last child (because who knows at this point if she will be). It is such a joy to see signs of MaryAnn's progress. Kids grow way too fast.

Before I start tearing up, here are a few recent examples of MaryAnn discovering life lesson #1:
I have a Body. It is mine. It is unique. It is beautiful. It brings me joy.

Before joining our family, MaryAnn's existence didn't include a body. Now it does. She is so pleased with every new connection her body makes and with every new piece of knowledge she gathers along this path called life.

When older sibs are busy with their studies, MaryAnn naturally wants to join them. Right now she's pretty sure that 5 x 2 = scribble scribble. And she's also learning...

I have a right hand...

and a left hand...and I like them both.

Not too many months ago, MaryAnn paid close attention to us when we pinched our noses and said, "pee-yew!" She grabbed her nose, too...and scrunched her face and grunted. We took her cue and pointed out that she has a nose just like us...and eyes...and ears. Since she loves us so much, she's pretty thrilled that we have some similarities.

Over several weeks we remembered to point out body parts whenever MaryAnn seemed in the mood for it.

Now when we play "Can you point to your...", she's feeling pretty smart these days:

ears

eyes

cheeks

teeth

elbow

chin

tongue

hair

and because she has older brothers...nostril (it's her favorite one because she notices the ripple of giggles that circulates the room when she gets it right)



MaryAnn has a body that itches...alot. So many foods and things cause her immune system to over-react and create bumps and sores that drive her (and mom) crazy. When it gets really bad, she scratches so hard, she bleeds (quite regularly this occurs for an hour in the middle of the night). She and Mom (MaryAnn still nurses) have eliminated dairy products, nuts, high-sodium foods, and sometimes eggs from their diets to tame her eczema a bit. It's helping, but sometimes she sees others eating some of her favorite foods: pizza and ice cream and milk chocolate and feels quite envious.

Despite these personal challenges, she's still learning, "I can taste! (even though this body of mine gets itchy easily...my mom is determined to find a few goods things for me to eat...like homemade cookie dough w/o chocolate chips)."

Every body is unique and special.


We'll keep celebrating (and learning) this all important lesson #1 for years to come.