One of the things that’s taken the most getting used to with Emily for me is understanding the need to respect her personal space. With other people’s babies I’ve known in the past, there’s been a lot of play, cuddles, bouncing, etc., apparently on our own terms. With Em, we’ve become incredibly aware of the need to let her mark out her own boundaries for play.
We’ve been disciplined about it – never thinking or speaking of her as ‘baby’ but always as Emily (or various unspeakably cute variations on that theme). And as she develops and her personality continues to present itself, it’s been amazing to watch her dictate the terms of engagement with other people.
The other day, my dad tried to pick her up for a cuddle before she was quite ready for him and I suggested he hold back, and just hold his arms out and smile at her. Sure enough, Emily sized him up, stuck her arms out and leapt into his arms for a bit of a play.
Wonderful to see.