As another week comes to a close, I’m overwhelmed by the realization that my children’s greatest accomplishments this week have come not through formal instruction, but through play, conversation, day-to-day life, and normal development. So what have the girls accomplished this week?
12. Baby Bear has figured out what “clean-up time” means and happily joins in the process.
11. Little Bear and I got a chance to play Zoologic together one day while Baby Bear slept. I *thought* I was going to help her with some of the more complex puzzles, but to my surprise she solved two of them faster than Mommy!
10. We’ve had a blast reading about pirates, privateers, and explorers of the 17th and 18th centuries. We’ve read a stack of non-fiction books and just finished Treasure Island last night. Much as I love beautifully-illustrated picture books, it’s a joy to see Little Bear’s understanding and attention span increase to the point where we can share classics with her as well. As an added benefit, our study seems to have given Little Bear new motivation to brush her teeth because she doesn’t want “pirate teeth”!
9. Little Bear turned to me in all seriousness last night and asked, “Mommy, why did pirates take things that belonged to other people?” I tried to explain piracy in historical context, noting that people throughout history have enriched and advanced themselves at the expense of others, etc. Then I asked her if she understood. “No,” she replied. “It’s not nice to take things from other people! It makes people sad. You shouldn’t make people sad just to get more stuff.” … Ah, the wisdom of a child!
8. I discovered this week that Baby Bear recognizes at least a dozen body parts by name. She can’t say the words yet, but she loves touching her hair, ears, eyes, mouth, and more while playing “Where’s your _____?” with Mommy and Big Sister.
7. Little Bear has spent countless hours creating and constructing with her Duplos, MagnaTiles, and Konstruk Tubes. I love watching her develop her imagination, hone her motor skills, solve problems, and follow complex patterns all while playing and having fun.
6: Baby Bear is beginning to exhibit signs of potty learning readiness, including going potty all by herself one day. (Too bad the lid was down!)
5. Little Bear has started asking to read to me instead of just listening as I read. She’s also offered to read to her baby sister on several occasions. Now, her “reading” consists of reciting or retelling familiar stories. But she’s associating words with meaning and retelling stories with detail and expression — a huge step in reading readiness and oral language development!
4. Baby Bear has developed an almost overnight fascination with books. She suddenly cannot get enough of them. Each time I sit down to share a picture book with Little Bear, she comes running with a couple of her board books in her hand.
3. We rescued a ladybug from imminent death in the swimming pool. We gently set it on dry ground, then watched as its wings dried and it flew away to safety. Little Bear loves all living things and is still talking about the tiny bug we were able to save.
2. Little Bear introduced her baby sister to someone as “my forever friend and the playmate God made just for me.” Yes, they still tussle at times. But Baby Bear adores her big sister and seeks to imitate her at every turn, and Little Bear is beginning to recognize that baby sisters are pretty awesome people … even if they occasionally knock down your Duplo house or chew up your artwork.
1. Baby Bear learned to say “I love you!” and has taken great delight in using her new phrase on Mama, Daddy, and Big Sister.