About me and my blog

sábado, 27 de octubre de 2012

What's new: sharing

It's been two weeks since I last wrote a "what's new" post and I feel there are many new things to mention these days. To start with, M seems to be growing taller. On Monday, I noticed she couldn't reach the floor when trying to ride a motorbike some relatives gave her. Today, Thursday, she was able to tiptoe when straddling it in the same position. Her two friends have been about 2 inches taller than her for several months but today I noticed the difference is growing shorter. Although size is not my main worry and has never been, I am really happy she is growing up. I always used to be among the smallest of my peers -not that I am a big lady now anyway...- but being from May and quite an extrovert it was never a big issue. M seems to be a bit shy plus she was born at the end of the year, so we sometimes worry about her being so beyond the average in height and weight.

On the other hand, she is really verbal and can express most of her experiences and feelings. For quite a bit now, we have been working on how to express her feelings to other children instead of crying or just going away from the situation. This week it was the first time I heard her vocalize that she didn't want her friend (L) to take away a book she was about to open. The way she did it was in the third person, but we were all glad she talked to L herself and not to me saying that she didn't want L to take something away. This has been a step forward in a process that started with her first interactions with other children when she would cry when other children would approached her too much, take something off her hands, or the like. Fortunately, we have had very little to do with children who hit.

Concerning language, I know I am always repeating the same and I don't want to sound boastful but M amazes me everyday. Her constructions are more and more elaborate each day. Last week I wrote down sentences such as "mama has gone there far behind", "li ensenyarem el bebè a la iaia", "mama wants to put pigtail Marina". She announced on Monday that her friend L "was coming tomorrow", and the following day she said "L gone to the park today". I know at her age time is a very abstract notion but I guess she mimics my speech excellently 'cause both statements were right.
She often says "X is coming" to express that she would like to see that person, and she has started to associate people -and animal- with places. Thus, Clara is in Mataró, with the turtle, and other people who are there too.

Sharing from the heart is something I start to see. We have never told M that she "should" share her things. We believe this act has to come from the child's heart and not from obeying a rule grown-ups invent. However, we have neither told her that the objects she has at home or she plays with are exclusively "hers". Whenever a child comes home, she doesn't object to that child toying around with her things, except when she has the item in her hands at that moment. By sharing, though, I mean the pleasure of doing something together and that's what seemed to happen on the picture below. M and L were eating the same ice-cream in peace while the rest of us (5 adults and another toddler) were eating ours, and nobody seemed to notice except for the photographer...

domingo, 21 de octubre de 2012

Late update

The biggest pumpkin party ever  (Sept. 2008)-
 this was my own design
One more night I have the feeling I should post something nice but one more time I am overtired and it is way too late to start uploading pictures, and so on.
I hope, I wish, it will suffice to say that I keep the blog in mind all the time. The intensity and amount of activities we are doing these days, though, leaves too little room to write and share. Little baby is not expected yet but he sometimes moves as if he were going to jump out any time.
We have been doing some Fall and Halloween activities, among which featured pumpkin flavored orange play dough, pine cones tonging, lots of window decorating with foam pieces -specially nice in this rainy weather-, a pumpkin costume, little pumpkin party favors made out of egg cartons... As you can see, I love pumpkins. My father-in-law has been growing pumpkins and squashes for several years now and he has won several biggest pumpkin contests. Some of his big pumpkins can be seen on the pic above these lines.
I haven't told you about a play-group M and I host every Wednesday.
I also have some projects that are about to see the light: a beginning sound book (M), and a sensory gel pad. I am very excited about both, although I can't foresee if M will be as excited as I am.
Needless to say, I hope to be able to share this projects with you soon. In the meantime, forgive my absence in the blogosphere.
M enjoying the new season on her paternal grandfather's farm

martes, 9 de octubre de 2012

Discovering politeness, music, and friendship

Phew, I have been absent for too long and I promise I haven't had a second to post, so busy I was preparing classes, environments, activities, both for my students and for my girl. I am terribly sorry for the loss it represents to skip two or three Wednesdays without updating M's progress. I am also sorry this will be a post written in haste, nearing midnight, and stealing some time from a precious rest. Well, I can't say I am sleeping wonderfully this days, but I do try to rest as much as I can during the night, since naps can't happen these days.
We have been doing several practical life activities around here. M is interested in squeezing oranges, spreading tomato on a loaf of bread, pouring liquids with her pitcher, transferring, and tonging. Although the tongs are a bit too big and she ends up transferring with her hands. 
Not too long ago she started saying "salut" (=bless you) after someone had sneezed. Then, it was "thank you" and "gràcies", which she uses mainly when she is the one giving something, not taking. We have also heard her wishing "bon profit" during lunchtimes. All in all it is delightful to see how modeling behavior is about enough. I really can't figure myself pushing her to say thanks to someone, in a similar way I can't push her to kiss someone. 
Music is becoming one of her favorite activities and apart from playing the piano with the daddy nearly every day, she often goes to her kitchen cabinet, grabs a couple of spoons and comes back to the living room, where she uses her round wooden block box as a drum. Not seldom she exclaims "Marina making noise", although I am encouraging her to call it music or rhythms.

Some days ago a great friend of ours gave us some money to spend on M's materials and we got a set of musical bells from Imaginarium, which M loves and uses daily. There are also some songs she prefers and asks us to sing. Lately she has even started singing a bit.
In the field of language, the novelty is the use of prepositions and conjunctions. She started first with the latter and sometimes seems to take delight in listing "the cat sleeping AND the dogs sleeping AND...". Her use of prepositions is clearly distinct in the Catalan language, where instead of a possessive 's (i.e. mama's hat) possession is articulated thought a preposition.

Finally, after many months of regularly sharing some time with two other girls (my friends' daughters) her same age, friendship seems to be appearing. She talks about them and wants to see them. Some interaction has also made appearance and I am glad that after some weeks when conflict seemed to be the only interaction, they are now showing signs of fondness.