Friday, September 7, 2012

Village People

So ... it really does take a village to raise a child. For reals.

Today when Sean picked Walter up from day care they demonstrated something new: Walter sings along to "Row, row, row your boat."  Sean practiced it with Walt all the way home and then showed me when I got home, too.  We sang it for Grandma and Grandpa Albright, we sang it for Umma and Baba, we sang it during dinner and while we were playing after dinner and with special gusto right before bed (perhaps as a clever tactic to delay bedtime.)

The day care version:
Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
If you see a crocodile
Don't forget to scream (Ahhhhh!)

Walter's version:
Raow raow raow raow
Raow raow raow raow
(whispered) B-oh-ttt
(with delight) Ahhhhhhhhh!!

But most of the time he just says "raow raow," which is our cue to sing the song, while he listens and dances and waits for his favorite part (the scream, of course) to jump in.  Then, as soon as we're done, he says "raow raow" and we sing it again.

We are, as you might imagine, immensely proud and excited about this.

It makes me remember a time, about 5 years ago, when our niece C was little, maybe about Walter's age.  She came home from day care and proudly exclaimed, "Chugga chugga, chugga chugga, choo choo!" Her mom said, "I love day care. They teach her things!"

I love day care.  I love that they sing with him, and teach him verses I don't know, in ways I would never have thought of myself.  I love that they've been practicing walking with him, and when he's tried out a few tentative steps every evening this week I know he's been doing that at day care, too.

There's no question that Sean and I are Walt's primary caregivers.  We are clearly Mom and Dad; we teach him in big and small ways all the time, we make sure he has safe places to explore, interesting experiences, and absolutely no doubt of our love. To use the current favorite political phrase, we totally built that.  But not alone, not by a long shot.  Our village is building Walter.  And our village is doing an excellent job.

Did I mention that our son is walking?
As Walter would say (with delight): Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!

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