New Mama Musings

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Declaring the Eternal "Es"

I realized recently that Henry's word for "nurse" and the way he pronounces "yes" are one and the same.

Es, es...the eternal es.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Smart Art

Henry has enjoyed scribbling for a long time now, but suddenly, the other day, he was actually drawing.

We were playing outside and when the neighbor girl drew a star with a piece of chalk, he picked up some chalk and said he was going to make a star, too. He drew an oval with a line through it, and then started to draw spikes extending from the perimeter. He said it was a sun. But when he finished making the spikes, he stood up, looked at it, and said, "Beetle!"

Next he made this:

and said it was a castle.

This is a boat:

and this is a construction crane:

I commented on the drawings, saying things like I noticed that the beetle had a stripe down his back, or that the boat looked just like the ones we see on Lake Michigan. I don't want Henry to look to me for praise for everything he does, but I do want to show him I'm paying attention. I admit, though, that it took everything in me not to tell him how incredibly smart and wonderful and amazing and gifted he is.

But he is, isn't he?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

"What do you sayyyyy?"

A few months ago Henry started adding "NOW" to the end of his requests, i.e., "Fruit bar NOW."

While it amused me a little to see such a small person demanding what he wanted, it also made me think about the best way to teach Henry civility.

I really, really hate it when parents prompt their kids with "What do you sayyyyy?" or "What's the magic word?" I don't want Henry saying please or thank you merely because it's been drilled into his head to do so. I want him to be polite because he knows it makes other people feel good. Because it makes him feel good about himself. And because it makes the world a nicer place.

I think it's important as a parent to lead by example. So instead of telling Henry he needed to say "please," I started repeating his requests and adding "please" to it. ("You'd like a fruit bar, please? Okay, let's get you one!") And I always make sure to thank him for anything he does to help (or anything he does that he thinks is helping).

Suddenly in the past few weeks my boy is a please-and-thank-you machine. He'll grab something he shouldn't, and when I say, "Henry, please don't play with that," he'll immediately give it to me and say, "Danes you Mommy." (He's a bit mixed up on when to say it, and a lot of the time it comes out "Danes you Henny," but that's okay.)

Now when he wants a treat, he says "Fruit bar pease." When he wants to get up in the morning, it's "All done pease."

The one that gets me right here, though, is "Es (nurse) Mommy pease."

I realize that Henry is saying these things without really knowing what they mean and that this comes dangerously close to him saying it only because it's been drilled into his head to do so. But there's a difference: I'm not hounding him about it; he's picking it up on his own. And that's how kids learn language.

Henry still doesn't say these things at all the appropriate times. And for now other adults don't expect him to. However, even in a year or two, when I might be expected to prompt him, I don't plan on doing it.

I do plan on commenting, "Wow, that was really nice of Isabella's mommy to share their treats with you. Thank you, Jennifer!" or "Grandma drove to a special store to buy that book just for you. Wasn't that thoughtful?"

The idea is to get Henry thinking about other people's feelings. I want him to grow up to say and do things for the right reasons, to be guided by his own moral compass.

Learning politeness on his own -- not with me demanding it from him -- is one step in that direction.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Blue Hands Group (Fun with Chalk)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

"No! Brush Off!"

Lately if Henry is the object of any unwanted attention -- a kiss, a hug, a touch on the arm, a wave -- he takes one hand and "wipes" it off, saying, "NO! Brush off!"

He also doesn't like it when my husband kisses me and insists on wiping my mouth off afterward, frequently smearing Carmex all over my face in the process.

I guess it's a good thing that he can assert himself this way, righting what he perceives to be a wrong.

If only every injustice were so easily corrected.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Happy Tooey! Cha Cha Cha

My baby turns two today. *sniff*

Who knew this tiny little thing...

would become this crazy kid?

Happy Tooey (translation: Happy Birthday To You!) my little one.

Cha cha cha.