Dr. Sara’s baby story
This mama celebrated a big milestone recently. My oldest “baby” turned five. FIVE! I still cannot believe it. I swear that it was just yesterday that I brought him home, nervous and terrified. Now he’s a little boy, running and playing and learning to read. Unbelievable.
Leading up to his birthday, I told him his “baby story” each night as I tucked him into bed. In short, a “baby story” is the story of the 24 hours or so leading up to and ending in his birth. I go through the start of labor by telling him that I felt him knocking on my belly. I recount being in major labor denial, talking to my big belly and telling him to quiet down. He loves the part where I feed him a HUGE amount of pancakes before going to the hospital as I was sure they would starve us once I got there. The story ends with “the most beautiful baby I have ever seen” in my arms, smiling.
Children love, love, love to hear the story of their birthday. They love the idea that they were anticipated and that everyone was thrilled at their arrival. They love the funny parts and the parts where you tell them exactly how big they were. They love that while they cannot remember it, that you do and that you tell it the same way over and over and over.
Sure, not every birth story is perfect.You leave out the painful, or messy, or scary parts and exchange them for the excitement, anticipation, and joy of that day. If your child is adopted or fostered or a step child you can re-create this story with the first time you met or the day you became a family. The sentiment is the same. Trust me, telling these stories is an amazing way to connect with your child. It will make both of you feel loved and important.
PS: The “baby story” is just one example of an “I Love You Ritual.” Dr. Becky Bailey has a fabulous book by the same name full of little meaningful ways to connect with your children. I use a few of her rituals frequently in my own home and teach a few to my patients as well. Check it out.