Parenthood is a beautiful journey filled with precious moments and memorable firsts. One such milestone is a baby’s first painting experience – a delightful and messy endeavour that allows parents to witness their little one’s curiosity and creativity unfold. Today, I embarked on this artistic adventure during a baby social session, expecting laughter, colourful memories, and perhaps a bit of chaos. Little did I know that this day would teach me a valuable lesson in parenting and the importance of trusting our instincts.
When we first went in, the lady had forgotten they promised my son (who is now 5months) a painting session. She quickly and kindly got all the materials for him to create his very first masterpiece. The scene was set for a playful and joyous art session, where babies were to create their masterpiece using vibrant paints and an eager paper. At the start we had giggled at the sensation of the paint on their tiny hands with wide-eyed wonder. It was a beautiful sight to behold – a room filled with parents also taking part in other baby sensory activities.
In the midst of this artistic celebration, my little one decided to have a meltdown. The once-curious baby now displayed a clear experience, dissolving into tears and distress. While it might seem heartbreaking to witness, I knew that such moments were part of the journey in being a parent and that they can easily change moment to moment. Babies, just like adults, have their own preferences and limits, and respecting those feelings is crucial.
As I comforted my little artist and tried to understand the sudden change in mood, which I felt could be related to avoiding his morning nap and the sudden paint in his hair (as he decided to roll in it) – another mother approached me with unsolicited advice. She gave her insights on how to manage the situation, suggesting that my son was hungry. (He had only been tad 45mins before we arrived) While her intentions might have been well-meaning, her interference felt invasive and unwelcome. After all, as parents, we know our children better than anyone else and can decipher their cues and needs. I am fairly confident rubbing of the eyes is that they are tired (or there is something in it)… It does not help he is teething so continuously chews everything.
This incident served as a reminder that parenting is a deeply personal journey. No two babies are the same, and what works for one might not work for another. As parents, we learn to trust our instincts, attuning ourselves to our child’s signals and understanding their unique temperament. While advice from fellow parents can be helpful, it’s essential to remember that the ultimate authority on our child’s well-being lies with us.