Lately my biggest concern has been learning where to draw the line between giving her too much life, too fast, and feeling like, "She wants to discover this, why not give it a shot?" So far, the line gets drawn the second either one of us gets impatient.
Mia begged to go ice-skating because she saw it on Caillou and Backyardigans. So I took her skating. At first she seemed to like it more and more each time we went. So I bought some pre-paid
She begged every day to do her "lesson," from the book I just bought, "How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons." We got to lesson 22: "That is a seed. See a ram eat it." As soon as she came to a word she couldn't sound out right off the bat, she started whining and leaving the book to go play on the slide. This time I got impatient. "Mia, don't you want to know what animal we're reading about? I'll give you a hint: Daddy made one out of a purple balloon yesterday." (yes- Zach is one of those rare med students who started out working as a children's birthday party entertainer.) We're done reading for a few months, I don't care how cute she looks when she pretends to read "The Grouchy Ladybug," and then begs to do "wessons."
A few weeks ago we ended up with a CD from the library geared to expose babies to Italian. I think it was sitting on the table when we walked into the kiddie area, and I grabbed it telling myself it might help me in my efforts to brush up on my grammar. I actually am sick of feeling a lump in my throat and a skipped heartbeat every time someone from my mission sees me online and starts a chat. But really, I was thinking, "Who knows, maybe these kids will want to learn a latin-based language someday. If what they say about brain connections fizzling out by age two is true, I might as well take advantage of the little synapses that are still left." I enjoyed hearing the poems and Italian nursery rhymes and songs. The babies did a little bopping. Mia got over her annoyance at the seemingly silly words and finally started requesting "the Italian CD." The book says you should have them listen to it for approximately three hours every day for it to have any affect on their ability to perceive certain sounds when they're older. When we went back to the library a few days ago, I asked if they had any other languages. Now we’re listening to French. Neh- who knows if it's an academic waste of time. At least no one's impatient with it.
Oh- and I’m not too worried about confusing their language skills. Mia is too old and set in her ways, and the babies don't have any. Well, okay. Bree says “no,” now. Even though Mia was already stringing together sentences by this age, for some reason this little “no” is really impressive. If she doesn’t want to eat anymore, she’ll shake her head and say “no!” which sounds really weird, I guess because it’s the only word she’s ever said. Imagine the feeling you'd get if a cat you'd had for 15 months suddenly started saying "No!" That's as close as I can describe it.
It’s really cute while she’s watching Diego. They ask “Can Diego use a frying pan to shoot the emu?” And all the characters chant in unison, “NOoooooo!” and Bree is chanting right along with them. So anytime she hears a question now we get the same little response. “Bree you’re hanging on my leg drooling and pointing at this fruit smoothie with your tongue sticking out. Do you want a bite?” “NOoooooooo!” Yeah- my kid's an honor student...