It happened. A year passed. Somewhat a blur, somewhat a blink, somewhat the longest shortest time… But according to the calendar, it’s true, a year has passed and our baby is one year old.
My oldest daughter also turned another year old during this time… Surprised? I kind of am! My oldest is four years old now and my baby is one (but thinks she’s three). During this time, the thoughts of my oldest daughter processing the growth and development of her baby sister has been mind blowing.
“Where was I when you were a little girl?”
“When you were a little girl, who was pregnant with me?”
Rather than giving clear cut answers, the Reggio approach to learning suggests to guide the learner through a process of inquiry. The Role of the Teacher is to facilitate and guide the process of these marvelous questions. Many times that means answering a question with a question. I try to do that while taking my time to explore possible answers.
I wanted to explore these questions in depth, and we tried to through play, as we processed the baby’s growth and newfound presence in our lives.
Recently she’s begun to answer these questions with further wonderings…
“Maybe I was just waiting for you when I was a big girl.”
“Maybe you were a little girl waiting for me.”
“Maybe I was a big girl waiting for you to grow up.”
All of these thoughts are very interesting to me and quite profound. Ideas of identity, family, existence, pre-existence, creation, life formation, before and after life, all come to my mind when I hear these words. We started to explore these ideas with provocations. Some provocations included:
- getting out my daughter’s baby book, then my baby book, and finally, Gramps and Nonni’s baby photographs. Oh, the conversations we had were priceless! (Over the span of a couple months)
- I made masks out of some baby photographs when we explored the questions: “Can I be a baby again?” and “Can you be a little girl again Mama?”
- We looked at photographs of fetal development in the womb as well.
For Everleigh’s first birthday, I created a documentation panel that displayed the process of these thoughts and learning throughout the year, especially the past 3 months.
To be completely honest, I’m not satisfied with my documentation panel. There were SO many more conversations I hadn’t transcribed, so many photos I failed to capture and wanted to share. But as I learn how to incorporate Reggio inspiration more into our daily lives, I will share it with you along my journey. Rather than looking at what I didn’t do, and what I missed, I do acknowledge and celebrate what I was able to capture. I also need to say to myself, “You know what, your hands were full! Literally! Celebrate that you lived the moment without a smart device between you and your children.” Okay, now I feel a little better… However, I’d like to explore ways to document where the method is least disruptive and captures the moment authentically while being fully present. This would look different at a home setting versus a school setting. Right now, I’m exploring these thoughts for the home. More ideas on practical ways to document the learning journey to come!
I’m curious, what questions about life has your little one asked? Or when you had little ones long ago, do you remember when they asked such questions, especially when another sibling was born? I’d love to hear your (their) thoughts!