Monday, August 31, 2009

Politically Incorrect

Little Bit learns so much at daycare - songs, counting, ABCs, sharing, etc. Unfortunately, that learning includes things that we don't want him to learn. I'm beginning to see why some parents choose to homeschool. There are lots of good things about his daycare. The problem is one or two of the children in his class who act up. Several of the "lovely" things he has learned include:

1. pointing a stick-like object at me (or his dad) and saying, "You're dead. Ha ha ha ha." The laugh is a fake laugh that particularly grates on my nerves.

2. doing something he's not supposed to do (like yesterday, throwing a pillow directly at my face), then saying, "I was jus' kidding."

and, 3. in general, he's started getting an attitude sometimes where I get flash forwards of him as a teenager.

When I was young, I tested as "gifted" at a fairly young age. From fourth grade on through high school, I was in the separate gifted program classes. We moved at a faster pace and had many more hands-on and field trip activities. Maybe it's snobbery, but I was glad to not have to deal with the lowest common denominator in the regular classes who only wanted to cause trouble in class. DH and I and our pediatrician suspect that Little Bit will test as "gifted"; he's already show some signs. Part of me looks forward to getting him into the gifted programs where he will be surrounded by other bright, inquisitive children who want to learn.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fabulous Friday

In honor of the premiere of "Project Runway" last night...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Three things

Three things important to me in parenting

1.) This one you've probably hear before. Pick your battles. Or, as we say around the avonlea household, Is this the hill you want to die on, soldier? I ask myself if whatever I want Little Bit to do (or not) is really that important? Does it matter if he eats his food one way or another, as long as it ends up inside his tummy and not on the floor? Then, why try to force him to do it my way? Does it matter if that item he wants gets "toddlerized"? No, then let him carry that advertising booklet around and color on it, or drop it on the floor. Related to this is...

2.) Respect Little Bit as a person. Yes, he's still a child, but if I can give him choices, if I can give him some say in his life, then he gets a little autonomy. He has his own likes and dislikes, and they can change. At one point, he was fine with us cutting up his dinner roll into bite-sized pieces, but one day, there were going to be tears if he didn't get a whole roll, unblemished. So I gave it to him, and laughed when he smooshed the whole thing against his mouth trying to get a bite. Sure, that's a trivial example, but there are lots of little choices he can make.

3.) Let him play! I do not want to overschedule him with a bunch of activities and lessons. First, he's only three. However, when he gets older, we'll sign him up for one or two things at a time, eventually working our way through different sports, scouting, martial arts, music, etc. so he can find out what he enjoys. For now, just playing is pretty darn good. I will not be pushing tutoring on Little Bit, like the people mentioned in this article, in order to prepare him for kindergarten.

[Play is] also a critical way that children develop language, express their creativity, expand their social skills, solve problems and generally learn about their world — all important abilities that will help them in kindergarten and well beyond.
-- Joan Almon, Executive Director of Alliance for Childhood

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Big Boy

Me, speaking to Little Bit: Let's take off your sandals; they make your feet stink.
Little Bit: No, they don't. My poo-poo makes me stink.
We took Little Bit for his three-year old checkup. The pediatrician says that he is still in the 75th percentile for height and weight. His vocabulary is good. She had him try to draw a few shapes that she drew first. He got the circle (a three-year old skill, she said) and the plus sign (a three and a half year old skill). He's not quite up to drawing a square yet (a five-year old skill), but he did get one corner on the shape he drew. Just in the last few months his coloring skills have grown. He no longer just colors with big swipes of color across the outlines on the page. He tries to color inside the lines and does a pretty good job of it.

When we told the pediatrician that he likes to "read" back his bedtime story books to us, she was impressed. She said that telling stories was closer to a five-year old skill. We need to video Little Bit "reading" The Cat in the Hat. It's hilarious. "You go 'way now t'ing One and Two. No here while Mommy away! You go 'way!! Please!"

Last week, he was reading a bedtime story back to me. The story had asked questions like, "Do you see the present with the big red bow?" Little Bit asked me the questions and when I answered correctly, he said, "Good, Mommy!" My little teacher. Then, he surprised me by coming up with his own new questions. Though, of course, he is still only three. "Can you find the red... with ladybug spots?" I pointed to the picture of a ladybug.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A first visit to the boardwalk

We took Little Bit for his first trip to Kemah Boardwalk last week. He was so excited when he saw the huge carousel and the train. We rode the carousel first, then the train around the boardwalk. No kiddie rides for us. We even rode the full-sized ferris wheel. He wasn't scared at all to be up so high.

Like his cousin, he is in the full-on "why?" stage.

"Why the wheel stop up here?"
"Why dat boat out there?"

We saw the stingray exhibit at Kemah. Little Bit was so excited and fascinated to see the huge stingrays and the colorful fish in the tanks. The stingray tank was set up so people could feed them and pet them. I was too chicken to do either. Little Bit laughed in surprise when one stingray came splashing out of the water at the edge of the tank. It saw us standing there and came looking for food.

"Why dat fish do dat?"

At the end of the evening, we carried a very tired little boy, clinging to his new stuffed turtle (from the visitor store), to the car. The first thing he talked about the next morning was that he had gotten to ride the carousel, the train, and the ferris wheel the day before.