When it comes to kids, even the smallest things can melt your heart. What seems like little accomplishments to those without kids are important enough to us to announce to the world. So here I am hoping you will rejoice with me in some of the little, yet very important things happening in our house lately.
Let’s start with Seth. He doesn’t talk as much as some precocious almost 2 year olds. I’m pretty sure Elise was carrying on conversations by his age, but then again, she showed off her verbal skills quite early, must be a girl thing. I realized the other day, that when Will turned 2 I found myself at the doctor for his 2 year old well-child and was explaining to the doctor that I really felt he was behind on his vocabulary. I could easily count the words he knew and used and I really thought he should know more. The doctor said he was within normal milestones for his age, but he didn’t progress until he was over 2 1/2. By that time we had had him tested just to make sure there wasn’t some hidden problem. Turns out there wasn’t, he was quite smart, just choosing not to talk. Now we can’t shut him up.
Anyway, even though Seth is not as outgoing verbally as Elise, he says many more words than Will did at age 2 and more importantly he is constantly adding new words to that list. He will copy things I say too, something Will would never do. In fact, I’m convinced he says much more than I realize because I haven’t quite learned all the translations for his particular dialect. He will occasionally rattle off what really sounds like a complete sentence, but it just won’t make any sense to me. But occasionally, the combination of inflection and sounds will hit my ears just right and I realize what he just said. That happened tonight. I was trying to take him to bed, while the other two kids happily played with legos. As I walked out of the room carrying him, Seth turns around and says: “Nigh, nigh, Will. Nigh, nigh Eese.” It was the sweetest thing ever.
As I said, Will now speaks quite well. As his Nana has noticed, one of his favorite words is “actually.” He also loves to make up quite elaborate detailed stories, which go on forever . . . But the thing that makes me the most proud of him lately, is when he says: “Just a minute, I have to go to the bathroom.” Now, only some of you understand how amazingly exciting this is, but I’m content with that. The rest of you will learn soon enough when you try potty training a child. But, I am happy to say, that Will is well on his way to being completely potty trained. He still has his share of accidents and we haven’t started working on night time training yet, but he is definitely more often than not making the choice to use the toilet instead of his underwear. You know, it really came down to him having to choose to do this on his own. I guess I should have known that it would be that way, but it’s still amazes me how very little our kids’ accomplishments have to do with us, and how much it has to do with them.
Elise has her own share of little achievements. Just a couple weeks ago I gave her a huge lecture when she complained to me that she “just isn’t good at math.” Really, she is, she just doesn’t like math. And I have to admit, probably part of that is the way that I am teaching it. I have a bit of a problem with this, because you see, I love math. I love the repetitiveness of it, I love writing problems on paper, I love knowing how and why a problem is done a certain way, and I love being able to do it again and again. In fact, after I got out of college, I got a math textbook I had never finished in high school and starting working on the lessons for fun. Anyway, I am trying to learn that not everyone enjoys math in the same way I do, and if I want Elise to learn to enjoy it I am going to have to work a little harder at making it fun. So I am happy to announce that the last few days of math have been going much better. Part of it comes down to me having a more relaxed attitude and I think part of it was because I tried to make it a little more fun. Yesterday, for instance, we did math backwards (on Elise’s request), starting at the end of the lesson and working back to the beginning.
Even I have something I’m proud of today. I have been wanting to make all of school more enjoyable and hands on and today I think I succeeded. We have been studying the Vikings, so last week I looked online and found a long list of “viking recipes.” We tried some out today. I let all three kids help dump and mix (I had a duh moment when I realized the reason I hate letting all 3 help at once is because I was trying to do it on the kitchen counter. Today we used the kitchen table instead and it went quite smoothly, Seth and all.) While we added ingredients I was able to do a whole lesson on how the Vikings would have found each of the ingredients that we used. I had to add lib this as it wasn’t in our material, but hopefully my extrapolations are correct.
There are tons more things I could list, everything from kids sleeping better at night to me actually consistently getting a devotional time each morning so far this week, but I’ll stop here.