There are several things that babies do not understand. These include such concepts as sharing, being gentile, patience and timing. As adults, we know that these ideas are beyond a babies comprehension, and yet, daily, we still hear cries of “No darling, don’t take that” or “I hope you are sharing”.
Babies learn about the world by exploring. And they like to explore with touch and with taste. These tiny beings are new to the world and show much more curiosity than the standard adult. But we choose to stifle it.
When our tiny beings arrive in the world we start to apologise. For their noise, their smells, the time that they consume and the fact they have changed our priorities in life.
Then, at some point in the first year, (a scary 5.5 months for my daughter) they become mobile. It is at this point that the apologies really start.
“I am sorry she stole your child’s toy”
“I am sorry she poked your son in the eye”
“I am sorry that my daughter ate your daughter’s rice cake”
“I am sorry that she keeps pulling your hair”
“I am sorry that your phone is now in her mouth”
“I am sorry that she is hitting your leg”
“I am sorry that she is tapping you to get your attention”
“I am sorry that she is biting your foot”
The list goes on. Well, do you know what. I’m stopping. No more apologies. Instead I offer you an explanation.
“She’s too young to understand, she doesn’t mean to take your toy, she’s just interested”
“She is excited by that food, it’s new to her and she wants to learn about the world”
“She likes you, that’s her way of saying hello, if you wave at her then she will learn to wave back instead”
“Ooops, your phone was left in her reach and she is really interested in learning about new things”
I am not going to apologise any more. My daughter is young and this is not her fault. She is amazing. She is curious and she is intelligent. She is fearless and she is learning about the world at a speed I can only envy. She does not get tired of discovering new things and her brain takes on so much every day.
We should be embracing the curiosity of our children. We need to stop apologising for them and instead defend them and help them to explore.
So, to all the babies and toddlers my daughter meets. She is a whirlwind. As long as I can help her she will not stop learning until she understands it all. I will do everything in power to keep her learning, and to keep her curiosity. I don’t want time and age to kill her journey to understanding and stop her quest for knowledge. I am NOT sorry.
My daughter is a baby, and I will not apologise for that.