When my daughter was expecting her first child, my friend, a pediatrician, when asked what a grandmother’s role in raising a baby should be, unexpectedly answered me: “Talk to him more.”.
And then my grandson was born. Little gentle creature. Immediately, of course, many questions arose: where to order toys, what to feed, what to wear. But, the main issue was, of course, the development of the baby.
From the first months, he distinguished all of us very well by voices. Responded to each in their own way. He met his father lively, with delight, cheerfully greeting with arms and legs. Mame smiled shyly and affectionately. And he looked at me attentively, as if expecting something interesting in advance. And I didn’t cheat on him. She approached the bed and talked to him, asked about his well-being, mood, sometimes scolded him for intemperance and tears. Then she took it in her arms, went around the rooms with him and said that where she was standing and what was called, she brought it to the window and made it possible to look at the street. Whether the sun was shining, whether it was snowing, whether it was raining – all this was told to him in detail. I often illustrated these stories with memorable verses from my childhood.
Very early, around three or four months old, I started reading nursery rhymes to him. And as the baby grew up, these simple rhymes very quickly calmed down when he suddenly began to be naughty or naughty.
Every year from mid-April until almost November, we lived with him in the country, and his parents came only for the weekend. And among the worries about the beds, I never forgot the words of my friend, the children’s doctor, that smooth speech will not appear in a child by itself, you will not absorb it, as they say, with mother’s milk. And so that subsequently he does not “sin” with all sorts of “this”, “here”, “yeah”, “means”, you need to constantly communicate with him.
When we walked, went to the river, to the forest, worked in the garden, I talked to him, retold a fairy tale from memory. If Pushkin’s fairy tales, written in verse, are quickly perceived by ear and are quite simply remembered, then it was different with Russian folk tales. Telling them, as a rule, I forgot something and improvised on the go. And every time my grandson corrected me, insistently demanding a return to the original source: “No, granny, it’s wrong, yesterday you told everything wrong”.
To be continued…
Based on material from the journal “Social Security”