Last week, something amazing happened with our 7 m.o. daughter. My wife and I had recently spoken about training Nitara to do stuff like clap her hands and one morning I tried to teach her to clap her hands but it did not work and she was not interested. However, in the evening my wife held Nitara’s hands and started clapping them together while I clapped mine to show her again how it is done. Then we let go and soon we were surprised to see that Nitara began to clap on her own. And that wasn’t all. When she stopped, I started clapping with my hands and kept on saying “clapping, clapping”. Seeing me do it, she started to clap again and we were excited at having taught her some new actions. We had fun for some time and when we stopped, I waited a short while and then just said the word “clapping”. To our astonishment, Nitara started clapping her hands at the mere mention of the word. We couldn’t believe ourselves so we did this a few times by distracting her in between. I even picked her up and sat her on my shoulders, told her we are doing “dansy, dansy” and then let her hands free and said “clapping, clapping”, and there she went clapping her hands again.

We were overjoyed at the whole development. It was a proud moment to know that our baby was responding to us by actions, that she not only heard words we spoke but also listened to them and retained them in her mind.

I was so happy that I hugged her tight and kissed her round cheeks and told her, “I’m proud of you, my baby.” Then a thought came to my mind. More of a reflection. As kids, we sometimes say that one day we would want to make our parents proud. But what we don’t know, and what I learnt today, is that parents become proud of their children much earlier than the children realize. I don’t have to wait for my baby to grow up, do well at her education, chose her career and achieve something big in order to feel proud of her. I already am proud that she is a lovely baby and is learning to do stuff even if it’s something as small as clapping her hands. Before today, I could never understand this. But now, I love it.

So, though it has been over a week, Nitara continues to respond to the word clapping. Not only that, she even does it unprovoked, and often when she is excited. It’s exciting.

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