It has always been interesting to me how children learn. A child comes into this world as a blank slate, and everything that we do shapes the person that they become. No, this isn’t going to be a nature vs. nurture post… that is way too intense for today. But I find it interesting that we can help our children learn to become the best person they can be.
DH always tells this story, so I have heard it a million times, but it’s new to you, dear readers, so here it goes…
When LO was very little, a few months old perhaps, DH would pick her up and (very, very carefully) swing her down onto the bed. The first time he ever did that, she looked at him with the what-in-the-world-did-you-do-that-for and is-this-supposed-to-be-fun face. DH smiled and laughed and after a five second hesitation, so did LO. Since then, she loves any time that she plays with DH. We call her our little daredevil. She laughs every time. So she learned that this is fun and we laugh when this happens. (End of repeated story)
Today, we were at lunch and she wanted something to eat. Her food was a little hot so I cut it up and then waited for it to cool down. I look next to me and lo and behold, she is trying to blow on her food from her chair. She has her entire face scrunched up and is really just spitting on the food, but she is doing it with the intention of getting the food cooler. She even kept saying “ha” which is how she says ‘hot’. So apparently, she has learned that when mommy cuts up food, the next thing we do is the blowing-on-the-food face. However, I’m a little concerned with what my face looks like when I do that. Maybe I need to check a mirror for one of these moments.
Later on, she was crawling around our house. As all parents probably know, this can sometimes end in a boo-boo moment. Sure enough, she slipped on her own two feet (and two hands) and bumped her head. I quickly picked her up and she put her head on my shoulder. As we walked past the freezer, she sat up and pointed to the door. So we opened the door and got our gel pack to help heal the boo-boo. She tried to put it on the top of her head, so I showed her where she should put it instead and she moved it there. So she has learned that when we get hurt, mommy and ice packs make everything better. We also learned that the dog really likes playing with ice packs.
I think it’s amazing how much she has learned from watching DH and me over the past 13 months. It’s only going to continue!
Impromptu game with Daddy today!
DH came home and LO was so excited to see him. We recently bought a set of foam tiles with textured tops to go outside on our back porch. That way LO could play outside and not have to crawl around on the concrete. We haven’t set it up yet so we had a pile of the tiles by the door. LO kept going over there and pushing the tiles into a messy “staircase” and then trying to crawl on top of all of them.
So DH started a game of “Lava” with her, modified of course. For those of you not familiar with the game, Lava is where you set a rule such as “you can only step on the tiles and stay off of the carpet.” The carpet is now the lava. So DH set up the tiles and had LO crawl on each tile as he pointed to it. He would jump onto one of the tiles and then call her to the one next to him, saying the name of the color. She kept crawling off of the tiles in the beginning so we started to clap when she got to the correct tile. After a few tries, she figured out that she liked the clapping and DH wanted her to come to the one he pointed to and stay there. A new game was born! It was the perfect game before bedtime… she was so tired afterward and went to bed.
It was a teachable moment – we used the resources we had and the items she was currently interested in. She learned a new game today and who knows – maybe she will learn her colors soon too!
Unfortunately, the dog stepped into the “lava” too many times. Apparently, she also needs to learn her colors. Oh well, she tried.
We had a great day indoors yesterday. We made lemon jello and created a “marble run” on our refrigerator. We discovered that LO really like to watch the “marble” go down the chute, until it gets to be eye level and then it’s time to grab it! I used a round water bottle cap as our marble and toilet paper rolls as our marble run. I think next time we will have to stick it on with magnets instead of duct tape, because after a while, the pieces of our chute started falling apart.We had 7 or 8 toilet paper rolls and by the end, between the duct tape failing and LO getting excited, we only had 4. DH came home and asked why we had made our own version of Where’s My Water? (For those of you not familiar with that app, it is completely addicting!)
To all of the fathers out there, happy father’s day!
DH and I had a great day with LO today. We went to an antique car show in the morning and then went to the park to ride ponies. Lots of teachable moments today. LO had quite a few firsts. First time to a car show, first time on a train ride, first time on a pony, first time wearing a helmet (the stables required a helmet). It was the first time she had ever even seen a horse. It was so much fun!
And then… for the greatest father’s day gift ever…
LO took her first steps today!!! She wanted to go to DH and she did it! Just two or three steps but we are on our way to having a walker!
First week of summer was a success! Tons of teachable moments… and I found out that LO does NOT like clowns. On Sunday, DH and I took LO to see the huge fish tank in one of the outdoor stores. She loved it! She spent most of her time trying to talk to the fish. On Monday, we spent a lot of time at home. We made “ice boats” using this link from Pinterest. They came out really cute, but they melted really quickly being in the water table outside. Next time, I’ll have to use them indoors (maybe in a long pan or something we can actually race them in).
On Tuesday, we went to the park and went running. Well, actually, I went running and LO “strolled” in the jogging stroller. I think that her way is the way to do it. Every time she saw the ducks, she started jumping up and down in the stroller and saying “duh, duh, duh, duh”. Then we went to a Mommy and Me type event and they had a clown. LO seemed fine while we were sitting there until the clown came in. She cried and wouldn’t eat or drink until we were out of sight of the clown. Hopefully next week’s group won’t include a clown. LO also had her first haircut. She cried through most of it, but was happy as a clam afterward.
On Wednesday, we took a walk through the gardens and museum nearby. They had a pond with fish and turtles and LO spent a long time talking to them in the pond. I think she really loves animals, especially birds and fish.
Today, we went running again and met up with some of my friends from the school I used to work at. We used a muffin tin and some small spoons and LO scooped rice krispies and cheerios into each cup. She loved it!
Tomorrow, we will meet up with my brother and go to LO’s gym class. Then we will probably head to the park and feed the ducks. It’s been a fun filled week and there’s only going to be more to come.
We have been working on sharing this week and being “nice”. Our dog is very appreciative of this since she is very often on the receiving end of both the sharing and the “nice”.
I think LO is super close to walking. Keep checking back for that update too!
Check back soon for some pictures.
There are so many blogs out there with summer bucket lists. That being said… why not read another one?
Get ready for some blog posts about the teachable moments from all of these activities!
What do you think? What are your summer bucket list items?
We found a lizard in the house today. LO was completely involved in her lunch and didn’t even notice him. She is completely fascinated by them usually, but she has never gotten up close and personal with one.
I decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to give her a new experience. So I carefully picked him up and put him into a small tupperware. She and I went outside to let him go.
I sat her down on the floor in the patio and put the tupperware out in front of her.
And then put the lizard out in front of her.
She was super excited to get to touch the lizard. But alas, we couldn’t keep him and
I quickly helped her she let him go. She watched him scurry away. I think we have a new interest now. It’ll be great to take her to different places this summer to give her experience with different animals.
This teachable moment literally jumped out of nowhere, but I think she really enjoyed it. And now we can begin learning about nature.
I never thought being a parent was going to be easy. Far from it, actually. I thought it’d be natural, I guess. And It does seem very natural to me now. I remember the first few weeks after having LO. Everything seemed like so much work. Even doing a load of laundry seemed to be impossible. I said to DH over and over again, “how am I going to go back to work too?” I felt like my life had become a scheduled repetition of “change, feed, sleep, repeat” with an hour for me to nap thrown in at some point during the days fifty rotations.
It’s hard to believe that last year at this time I felt that way. It comes more naturally now and with LO being older, I am super excited for this summer to get here. I made us a to do list to complete by the end of the summer together. I’ll be posting it here when it is finished and there are sure to be blog posts about teachable moments from our adventures.
But for those of you who have young babies, trust me… It does get easier. And then harder. And then easier again. But you learn as you go and it does become more natural. And there is nothing like the love between a mother and her child.