Sunday, May 19, 2013

Liliana's Profound Question

"Why is there no tomorrow?" Liliana asked David and I tonight. "What do you mean?" I asked, thinking that maybe she knew something about the end of the world that we should be preparing for (*just kidding). She then began to sing the 'Days of the Week' song. "Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, the you start again.... See. No tomorrow!" I love this little girl! Seeing how her little brain works is fascinating for me. We had a little discussion about tomorrow not being the name of a specific day, but referring to the day after the one we are in at the moment. I asked her what day it was and she responded, "Sunday." I asked her what day tomorrow will be and she replied, "Monday." Then I told her to pretend that it was Monday now and asked her what day it would be and she responded, "Tuesday." I know she already can answer these questions, because we do it as part of our preschool calendar activity all the time, but I wanted her to talk it out as part of this discussion to help her understand the abstract concept of tomorrow not being a specific day of the week. She, like most people, gets those "ah ha" moments much more frequently when I let her talk it out herself than when I try to explain things to her outright. Giving her nuggets of information and then helping to guide her thinking through questions enables her to feel like she can figure things out on her own and helps her develop problem solving skills and the ability to think about things and come to conclusions/resolutions without just waiting for someone to tell her what or how things are. I am not always good about facilitating this type of discovery thinking, but I am working on it because it is important.

No Rubbing His Belly!

A few nights ago I was helping Emmett change into his pajamas. Once I had his shirt off him, I said, "I like your belly. I want to rub it." I started to reach my hand up to rub his adorable toddler tummy. Emmett swiftly shielded his belly with his arms and twisted away from me. "No! That's just for decoration!" he exclaimed. I love this kid!

Emmett Versus The Crab

Some weeks ago we went on a preschool field trip to Carkeek Park. For those who have not been there, it is a park that overlooks the Puget Sound. The parking lot and play area are up on a bit of a hillside, and then you can take a footbridge over some train tracks and down onto the beach. My kids loved being there. Emmett saw the train tracks right away and made a beeline for the footbridge. He stood excitedly over the tracks and I hurried to catch up to him. We waited for only a few minutes before we saw a train heading our way. Emmett was so excited that the train was going to pass right underneath us. It ended up being much noisier and windier than we expected, and that made him a bit nervous when we had the chance to see another train pass under us later on that day. He actually started to run off the bridge to the side, but when I called him back and one of the other moms in our group offered to sit on the ground with Emmett and her little one, he happily (and skittishly) returned to the center of the bridge. I couldn't get down quite so nimbly because I had Edison strapped to me in a baby carrier. Otherwise, I would have offered to sit or kneel with him myself. After seeing the train pass, our group worked our way down to the beach. It was a very low tide, so we were lucky enough to catch a peak at some crabs and a sea star, among other things in a rocky tide-pool area. Our little group worked its way towards the water's edge and Emmett decided to start wading - shoes, pants, and all. I called him back and we removed his shoes and rolled up his pants and he went back to wading. I noticed he was working his way back to the rocky tide-pool, but didn't seem to want to get to close without his shoes on. I kept scanning the beach to help keep an eye on all the kids - while keeping Emmett in my peripheral vision. All of a sudden I heard Emmett screaming and crying hysterically. I looked over to see he had taken several steps into the rocky area, near where we had seen the crabs, and appeared to be panicking about something, picking one foot up and down, and yet unable to move away from whatever was hurting him. Now remember, I had Edison strapped to me and was surrounded by rocky beach myself. I started to hurry towards him, but two other moms in our group without the extra weight and balance challenge of a loaded baby carrier beat me to him. One of them scooped him up and brought him toward me as I hurried their way, too. She said, "I think the crab got him. He was standing right next to it and that seems to be what he was scared about." Once we calmed Emmett down a bit, he let us examine his foot. He had a bloody gash on the inside of the arch of his foot and seemed to have a couple punctures near the gash. We used fresh water from a water bottle to rinse it off and put his wet socks and shoes back on him. He was still uncomfortable, but until we could get him back up across the footbridge and to the car - where my first aid kit was - I couldn't do much else for him. Our group climbed the stairs up to the train bridge and then my little train nut decided to wait for another train to pass - even though his foot hurt. We finally made it to the car, where we could more thoroughly clean and bandage his foot and where I had a change of socks for him. On the ride home, I asked Emmett to tell me about what had happened. He said, "The crab pinch me four times. Pinch, pinch, pinch, pinch. Really hard!" I asked him why he went back by the crab and why the crab wanted to pinch him. Emmett said, "I walk on the crab and I kick the crab." At this point I was trying not to laugh. I knew Emmett was still in pain, but the thought of him trying to pick a fight with a purple shore crab was pretty funny. In as un-laughing a voice as I could muster, I asked, "Why did you kick the crab and step on him?" Emmett told me that he didn't like the crab and that it looked scary. "Do you think the crab liked being kicked and stepped on?" I asked - still trying not to chuckle. Emmett admitted that the crab probably did not enjoy that kind of attention. He promised not to harass crabs ever again. It appears Emmett has a bit of an obsession with crabs as a result of this experience. When we went camping a few weekends later, we went down to the beach and found little tiny crabs under some rocks. Emmett couldn't help but look under every rock and in every tiny tide pool he could see in search of crabs. He wouldn't touch them though, so maybe he has learned his lesson.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Why a 5 Year Old Needs a Cell Phone

Recently, Liliana asked me, "When will I get a cell phone?" Wanting to know what caused her to feel like she needed a phone, I responded with a question. "Why do you want a cell phone?" I asked. Her response made me laugh. It was definitely not the 'so I can call my friends' answer I was expecting. Rather, she very seriously said, "Well, I need to play my own games." Ha ha! Phones are not just for communicating anymore, and kids figure that out young. Liliana and I chatted about what the main purpose of a phone is - smartphone, or otherwise. She agreed that she has plenty of other ways to play games and accepted that she won't be getting a phone any time soon.