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Entries in Kids (15)


Only from the Creative Mind of a Kid

"Weeeyeeoo weeeyeeoo weeeyeeoo weeeyeeoo weeeyeeoo!'

I turned around to see what Nathan, my 4 year old son was up to on the PC behind me. There he was, rapidly whipping the mouse around in circles, while a blue-white blob vibrated at the center of his screen.

"Weeeyeeoo weeeyeeoo weeeyeeoo weeeyeeoo weeeyeeoo!'

"Nathan, what are you doing?"

Without even turning to face me, he replied:

"Playing Google Earth, dad!"


The Applesauce Boy

applesauce-boy.jpgThis morning, while I was in my basement office working, Nathan was upstairs, having breakfast. He'd finished his morning oatmeal, and had been given applesauce in a kid-sized cup as his fruit course. Gail went to another room, leaving Nathan in the kitchen with his applesauce for a few moments.

By the time she returned, Nathan flipped his applesauce cup over, and had spread applesauce on the entire tray of his highchair, on his arms and even worked some into his hair — eeewwww!

Gail asked Nathan if he knew what he had done with his applesauce was wrong. Nathan said:

"Yes mommy, I know."

Her next question was the kicker. Gail asked Nathan why he'd spread applesauce across his tray and in his hair. After a few moments of thought, he replied in a quiet voice:

"I'm just a little boy, mommy."

Gail wasn't pleased with the answer (and who knows where he picked that up from) but had to stifle her laughter, because it was an incredibly funny reply! But after some thought, I realized that's a tough question for a little kid. What else could a little applesauce-covered boy say? He's a little boy exploring his world, sometimes to the chagrin of his parents.

This story reminded me how sponge-like all kids are. I mean, how did Nathan know to use that phrase, and use it in the correct context? Does he understand the idea of an excuse? I'm not sure if he does or not, but for a little kid, he often amazes me with little things just like this — both good and bad.

Oh, the life of a parent. I wouldn't trade it for anything. :-)


My Christmas Wish for Nathan

My wish is to fulfill the quote I read today on Teri Martin's wonderful Quote A Day email list:

“If you raise your children to feel that they can accomplish any goal or task they decide upon, you will have succeeded as a parent and you will have given your children the greatest of all blessings.”

— Brian Tracy

My parents did this for me, and I can tell you it is a great gift. I plan to, and hope to pass this same gift of encouragement on to Nathan and any other children I have an impact on. Its the least I can do. :-)


The Kid Speaks

NateSomething has been developing with our son Nathan lately — he's starting to speak more and more. As I sat this morning thinking, that fact crept up on me. Now, often his pronunciation of words isn't terribly clear, but I can hear his intent.

When I consider what he is doing, I can't imagine what it would feel like to speak words without any previous idea how to use them, except through immersion with us and others. The idea of learning a language completely from scratch, with no prior language experience seems quite amazing.

It was hard enough for me to learn German through a few classes and by immersion on several trips to Germany — but I knew English already — quite different than learning from scratch. I often don't consider the difficult task facing Nathan, until this morning anyway.

It makes me realize that he's an amazing little guy. He's an expert babbler, often jabbering for several minutes at a crack, espousing his views on preferable sippy cup design, or the reasons why he prefers red Matchbox cars to other colors. Well, we have no idea what he's really saying, but it's so humorous to hear him talking, using inflection, facial expressions and hand signals to speak. He's literally a sponge, copying our way of speaking and tone of voice in own his experimental chats with us.

We've been teaching Nathan sign language for a while now (since he was 2-3 months old), which might have some impact on his language skills. If so, that's just a nice side effect. Our idea behind teaching Nate sign language was to give him a way to communicate during the so called terrible twos. Rather seeing his frustration levels rise, we decided having a simple way to share his thoughts could make a difference in his behavior. He's doing very well with sign too — using signs all the time to tell us what he wants or thinks. It's really amazing.

But back to the speaking... I'm just amazed that he is now trying to mimic what we say. So far he can say car and truck, and choo choo among other things. In his attempts to speak, I can see how his mind works a little bit... how he hears and then repeats what he hears. It's right about now that I sincerely wished I knew a second language well enough to teach it to Nathan as he grows. I know enough German to be dangerous, and even less Spanish.

I'm wondering if I could learn a new language with Nathan, once he's at the point of really knowing how to speak. It could be fun to learn new words with him, giving us both a new language. I'd choose to learn Spanish, because my good friend Carlos is a native speaker, it's relatively easy to learn and would be a useful language to know.

Whatever happens, it is very interesting to watch Nathan grow and learn. I can see in his eyes the feeling of pride when he says something well or uses the correct sign and we praise him for it. That's one of the joys of parenthood — having a positive role in my child's learning experiences and being there to see development happening right before my eyes.

Very cool. :-)


Family Photo Flashback

Steve & Mike

Heh! Last night, while spring cleaning, I came across a cache of old photos my dad took back in the mid 70s with his Minolta SRT-101 35mm SLR. The photo to the right really cracked me up — it's a shot of my brother Steve and I, when we lived in Chicago. I have no clue what we're holding up in this shot... some kind of box as far as I can tell. I suspect it was a box of candy, but I can't quite make it out.

What cracked me up was our fashion... check out the stripes and plaids there! That patch on my poplin jacket is a Road Runner patch (I had to enlarge the shot massively in Photoshop to read the patch). Steve's hat has some sort of baseball motif going on — so stylin!

Check out our glasses: molded industrial grade plastic, heavy duty glass lenses, all designed to withstand a nuclear blast — very important for rough and tumble 5 and 9 year old boys.

This is one of those reality-check pictures — the kind that reminds me no matter how cool I think I am, I can't avoid the fact that I was once a 9 year old wearing striped pants and geeky horn-rimmed glasses. ;-)