I know I've heard it.
I know I've told it to many many people.
Babies know their mamas voice.
It makes sense, really. They grow for 40 weeks (or, you know...42 weeks and 4 days) INSIDE us. It may be muffled, but they hear everything we say. Everything we sing. Every gurgle our stomach makes. Every beat of our heart. No wonder babies like to be held - especially by their mamas!
I don't know if I'm just more observant of these kind of things this time around or if I've just forgotten about them from the other kids. But I've particularly noticed some things with baby Ember.
The first thing I noticed was right after she was born. She was a few hours old and was a bit fussy as she was trying to get a good latch and nurse. I sang her a song that I made up when Vienna was a baby, and have used for all the kiddos (my sister's and brother's, too). It's still one of the kids' favorites, and I sing it to them every night. So, obviously she heard it every night as she was growing in my womb. Within the first few notes, she quieted down and relaxed.
Then last week we went to Winner to celebrate my mom's birthday with her. The men were all harvesting some land my dad farms way out there, so we were all staying in the local Holiday Inn Express. My sister and her family were there, as well as my brothers' girlfriends and their families. It was a lot of fun! Well, at this time Ember was not quite 3 weeks. My brother's girlfriend was holding her while the other kids swam in the pool and I had to run to our room for something. She came up a few minutes later, and I was way down the hall from where she was. I said something, and as soon as she heard my voice (from halfway down the hall), sweet Ember started searching for me...she was a little upset I wasn't *right* there. :)
It really struck me the most just this morning, though.
We have a minivan, and Vienna sits way in the back in her booster, Porter sits on the passenger side middle seat in his car seat, and Ember is right behind me.
Usually when we are in the car, Ember is very cool with it as long as we are moving. She doesn't like it much when we stop, at a stoplight or whatever - ha! Most of the time, though, she'll calm right down once we start moving again.
This morning she didn't. I was on my way to Bible Study and left the older kids home with Randall. I think it was probably the first time she and I went alone anyplace, and when we got going she was NOT happy. I figured she'd calm when we didn't have any other stops.
She was VERY upset. She wouldn't calm down.....until I did one thing.
I simply talked to her.
I don't know if she was scared because she didn't see or hear the other kids and obviously she couldn't see me, or what. I said just a few words to her and she calmed instantly. I talked to her for a little bit until I was sure she was ok and calmed for good. By the time we got to our destination about 5 minutes later she was sound asleep.
All these just reinforced with me the fact that we mamas need to talk to our babies! Not just our babies, though. If it's that important to talk to our newborns, it's just as important to talk to them as they grow, too!
I heard recently that the majority of parents only talk with their kids 3.5 minutes per day. I cried when I heard that. Can you imagine how starved for parental interaction those kids are? It made me so sad, and truly made me examine my own relationship with our kids. It's really easy for me to bury myself in work, research, projects, or whatever, and put them off when they try to talk to me. It's really easy for me to tell them that it's time to go to sleep instead of telling me their most pressing thoughts at the time.
I think these quotes are quite timely:
"A child seldom needs a good talking to as a good listening to." ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
"Anyone who thinks the art of conversation is dead ought to tell a child to go to bed." ~Robert Gallagher
And one of my favorites: “Listen earnestly to anything [your children] want to tell you, no matter what. If you don't listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won't tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.” ~ Catherine M. Wallace
So let them hear your voices, but don't forget to listen to theirs too!