My toddler celebrated one year of life strapped in a high chair listening and watching family and friends sing happy birthday via Zoom. At 16 months, Elías stays home, attends daycare, and occasionally sleeps over at his grandma’s house.
Elías has probably had an unhealthy amount of his short life trapped indoors. For the six months we were only remote teaching (as well as the summer), I was worried about how he never saw other human beings, much less other children. I worried about his social development, how he’d one day react to others, how he’d miss out on forging relationships.
Not even a year old and, in my dangerous thought traps, my child would turn into a recluse – FOREVER. In the midst of this, an article popped up on my Google newsfeed called Childhood Without Other Children: A Generation Is Raised in Quarantine discussing the long-term effects of the pandemic on the next generation. While there would be concern if lockdowns lasted years, it turns out my kid will be fine! Additionally, an early childhood educator reminded me that, at this age, the bond between parent/child is the most important relationship to prioritize.
Now that Kyle and I are physically back on campus, Elías attends a home daycare with 3-4 other kids. Unfortunately, he’s still trapped inside quite a bit, but the Houston “cold” is simply becoming an opportunity to truly enjoy the outdoors. Elías is unamused with our neighborhood park, so when we drove a different path home one day, Kyle and I spotted a beautiful park about a mile from our house. We finally went yesterday, and the three of us loved it so much, we returned today!
Elías awkwardly stood right next to another kid watching him play with something, and those few moments of awe and wonder on his face brought me incredible joy. For a little bit, Elías stumbled around trying to follow kids running at the speed of light. Ultimately, though, he wanted mami and dada to help him climb up one wall and ride down the slide over and over again.
While I may have been a little nervous as a first time mom, I’m incredibly thankful that we’ve had so much uninterrupted time watching Elías develop right before our eyes. What’s an unexpected blessing you experienced and/or received during pandemic quarantine?