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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Midnight Snacks

Jackson nearly talks like a regular person now. He thinks about things ("Um....sure!", "Um...no thanks"), he asks remedial questions ("Are you okay, Baby?"), and he keeps me company during the day with his observations and chatter. I love it. Most of the time. One of the coolest and most useful things about his new language is that he can tell me his wants and needs. This is encouraged during waking hours.

Two weeks ago, Beau and I were woken up by a yell at around 4 am. It sounded like Jackson yelling for help. Beau sprinted into Jackson's room. He came back a few minutes later, chuckling to himself.

"What?", I asked. "Is he okay? Was he yelling 'Help' or 'No'?"

Beau said, "He was yelling 'Toast! I want some toast!"

Early this morning, around 4:30 am, we were again woken by a groggy voice yelling at us.

Jackson was yelling, "Popcorn!"

* * *

I am reading a really neat book called The Mother's Almanac by Kelly and Parsons. It has achieved "antique book status" on the internet, although it was written in 1975. My mother gave it to me a few weeks ago. She is purging her house of "stuff" and I am the grateful recipient of many new books and articles. My mother is an elementary school teacher and also has given me boxes full of activities and learning props for Jackson and Rebecca. Exciting!

The book was written before cable, internet, and video games. Children could still "go play outside", down the block, or with a neighbor. It is filled with ideas for indoor and outdoor games and learning activities. Before the mainstreaming of homeschooling, it assumes that all mothers are teachers and gives ideas for science experiments and reading preparation. It is so intriguing to think about my mother reading the book while I was a baby and hoping and wishing and planning on how to best mother her children.

I love that the book treats children's minds as progressive and naturally curious. I feel like there are new avenues open to me that I had never thought about. I assumed that I would wait until Jackson was six or seven to teach him to cook and go fishing and make a hydrogen peroxide volcano. But I now am excited that by doing all of these things even now, he will learn faster and it will stimulate even more curiosity. There are sections in the book on responsibility, manners, chores, learning, eating, and the like. It has been hard to put it down and I will enjoy referencing it for years to come.

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