Chiara went to her very first class today, the pre-toddler class for 16- to 20-month olds at the Children’s Aid Society. She showed up looking very cute in a Yankees t-shirt with “Jeter” on the back. One of her teachers, Thomas, slapped a sticker with “Chiara” on it just below.
I have a sneaking suspicion that this class may be more for me and my peace of mind than for Chiara. Chiara loves to interact with adults, but she’s possessive and competitive with other children. I know this is normal, and I was reassured by the teachers again today that this is normal 16-month-old behavior, but I still would like her to hang out with other kids on a regular basis so that she can learn some more polite interactive skills.
One of the bummers of the class — one hour a week on Tuesday early afternoons — is that it is timed almost precisely when Chiara is likely to be napping. So for instance today she arrived asleep in her stroller and woke up for the class. Then she was so wired afterward that she didn’t nap again.
When I got home this evening, Chiara fell asleep nursing in my lap.
Luke and I debated what to do. It was a full hour and a half before her bedtime, and she hadn’t eaten her evening meal yet. So I put her in her high chair and were I not holding her head, she would have face planted on her tray. Luke called his mom who said, “let the baby sleep.”
When Chiara goes to sleep, she quite literally surrenders. She lifts her arms like goalposts next to her head. Her legs are usually splayed, too. She kind of looks like she’s making a snow angel in her bed.
As I watched her passed out on her bed tonight, I wondered whether I would always remember what she is like as a baby. Does my mother remember the way I slept as a baby? The way I used to talk and walk? I don’t mean, does she sometimes remember an incident or a moment, but when she’s talking to me, does she remember the baby I used to be? And will I see this beautiful baby when Chiara is the age I am now, hopefully with a fulfilling, challenging, interesting life, and perhaps if she wants one, a family of her own.