Let’s be honest. I’m no genius when it comes to motherhood. I had little maternal instinct prior to getting pregnant and was pretty petrified at the thought of caring for this little being that could basically, well, die if I was stupid. Trust me, I’ve had plenty of those moments – grocery shopping with Nugget alone…do I put the baby and groceries in the car and then put the cart away? Or do I put the groceries in the car then wheel the cart (with baby) to the cart holder and then put baby in the car? If I put baby in the car with the groceries, and then step away with the cart, is that stupid? Or abusive? What if it’s cold? Shouldn’t I put Nugget in the car to keep her warm? Should I turn on the car? Oh my god. What am I doing?! This is the type of stuff that runs through my head. Every single time I go to a store with her. Seriously. What’s the protocol, people?
So you shouldn’t find it surprising that I second guess my parenting skills a lot. Am I too lax? Am I not doing enough to stimulate her development? Am I completely neurotic? Yadda yadda yadda. I especially have second guessed my ability to teach her Mandarin. Being the Chinese parent without family in the area, I’ve tried my best to speak to Nugget in Mandarin as much as possible. But without reinforcement, I often dreaded the possibility that she just wouldn’t pick it up and I’d, shamefully, have a daughter that couldn’t communicate whatsoever with her Chinese family. It wouldn’t be so much her fault as it would be mine and it’s been a daunting task.
But the other day she did something so awesome and so amazing that I swelled with pride. I was so proud of myself for being the one person instrumental in teaching her this. Yeah, yeah, she’s the one who carried out the action, but, seriously, this is all me. All. Me. And I’m going to document it here for all to see (and may regret it if this ends badly).
Anyway, The Man and I were getting our day started when he said goodbye to her in Mandarin. He made no gesture to accompany his word. She waved at him. It was phenomenal. So he said hello to her in Mandarin. She waved again. I’m so amazed and excited! Now I just need to stock up on Mandarin kid’s books, shows and such so we can be sure to learn together. I just have such high hopes now. Maybe, maybe one day, she’ll talk back to her dad in Mandarin knowing he doesn’t understand her like I did with my mom. One can dream, right?