Archives for June 2012

Vocabulary Lessons

You two are both really into books, probably because Grandma is a librarian and regularly brings over new ones each week. This week, one of them was “Duck on a Bike,” and at one point I had to remind you, Anna, to be gentle with the book. I said that it was a Grandma book.

You promptly told me that it was NOT a Grandma book… that it was a lye-berry book. But then you went on to say “You used the wrong word, Umi.” You were right, of course, but the amazing thing to me is the apparent understanding of words as tools with a correct and incorrect meaning.

And so, my dear Anna, while you may have corrected Umi this time, just you WAIT until we start getting into synonyms and homonyms.

Want Moosic!

When we go anywhere in the car, it is often not long before one or both of you are asking to turn on the radio pleading that you “Want moosic!” And should we turn it on and it not meet with your approval, you are fast to tell us “Dat not moosic!” All this, and you are still year away from being a teenager.

Yesterday, I was playing “I’ve got a feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas, and singing along. Before long, you two started joining in with “Night gona be good night.” It was fun.

Earlier, Mom was in the car with you and turned on the radio to something by Bruce Springsteen. Anna, you called out “Dat not moosic!” to which Mom said “What? You don’t like Bruce Springsteen?” You replied “no want Booce Sprigsteen.” Let me tell you, kiddos, it’s a good thing you’re plenty cute and tiny, else you two would have got quite the tongue lashing for that one.

Delayed Gratification

There is a researcher named Walter Michelle who studied something called delayed gratification in children.  Basically, he put a marshmallow in front of a 4-year-old and told them that they could eat it if they wanted to, but if they waited until he got back, he would give them another one.  If they ate it, that was all they got.

It was all about self-control, and apparently the results from these 4-year-old kids proved a more reliable predictor of future success than their SAT’s when they were in high-school.

So this weekend, I gave you both a variation on that test, giving you both a single M&M while you were at the table, just after lunch.  Lucas, you barely waited for me to leave the room before grabbing yours, but Anna said “No, Lucas… Don’t eat it!”

When I got back, Anna, you still had yours, so I gave you another.  Lucas, you did not get one, and were upset.  I reassured you that you did not do anything wrong, and that it was OK to eat it, but Anna got another because she saved hers.  You seamed OK.

I did it a few days later, and this time you both “passed,” except that Lucas, you were clutching yours in your hand the whole time.  I don’t care what they say about melting in your mouth, not your hand – if you keep a death-grip on those things, they’re going to melt.  But it was still there, so you got your bonus candy.  However, I think next time, I’ll either use real marshmallows, else perhaps switch to raisins.  Something that does not melt.

Time Out for Tiger

We have these two stuffed animals – a tiger and a leopard.  Basically, one for each of you.  Recently, Anna, you were holding the tiger in front of you, went up to Lucas and pushed him, knocking him down, and making him cry.   Mom saw the whole thing and told you that pushing was bad.

You, on the other hand, emphatically denied the whole thing, saying that the tiger did it.  Now, denial of personal responsibility for an almost-3 year old is really not that unusual.  However, when Mom gave you a time-out, you threw a huge tantrum, as if this were a massive miscarriage of justice.

So much so, in fact, that shortly after you were placed in a corner, you got up on your own, grabbed you tiger, and put it in the corner instead.  You then told Mom “Tiger pushed Lucas… Tiger gets a time out.”

Hide and Seek

Recently, I started playing hide and seek with you two.  There are two variations.  In the first one, mom is with you on one floor, and has you count to 10 while I run and hide somewhere else.  There are really only about 7 places that I routinely hide, and I don’t go anywhere that is off-limits to you two.

But the real fun is not in the hiding… it’s in listening to the two of you giggle non-stop as you go looking.  You just find the game hilarious.  And the thing is, you both laugh so hard, that I have to struggle not to laugh too and give away my hiding place.

One time, I was hiding behind the bathroom door downstairs.  You both came down, looked in the bathroom, but not behind the door.  Then you went to look behind the couch, and while you were there, I ran out of the bathroom and back upstairs to where you had just finished looking.  This time Mom could not stop laughing, amazed that you did not notice what I just did.

In another variation, one of you, usually Anna, will say “Go hide in the bathtub, Umi,” completely missing the point that if I go where you tell me, it’s not really hiding.

The last variation is when we chase each other around the kitchen / living room circle.  I can get far enough ahead of you so that when you are in the living room, I can run up or down the stairs without you seeing.  The issue then is how many times you go around the circle before realizing that I am not on it anymore.

Recently, you two started working together.  “Go that way!” one of you would say to the other, making sure that you would find me in the middle.  Its actually advanced thinking for a 3 year old, as far as I know, as it represents an aspect of strategy for problem solving.

Regardless of the variation, being found is always so much fun, mostly because we laugh so hard that my sides hurt.

I love you both so very much, and you continue to be more and more fun to play with.

If You Are Happy and You Know It

Anna, you will often errupt into spontaneous song, especially when at
the table eating.  Last night, we were all having dinner, and you
started into the “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands!”
song.  No big deal.  That is, until you created your next verse, which
was “If you’re happy and you know it, fart in the tub.”

Mom and I started to laugh, then instantly turned away, hinting to
each other “don’t laugh… must not laugh at the fart.”  But you know
what, Anna?  That was actually pretty funny.  I mean, I suppose that
through your world view, farting in the tub really is a sign of joy, or at
least relief.