Thursday, December 13, 2007

Day six - on educating Dear Alex

Note: The pix are completely unrelated to the post, just some fun:
Dear Alex still loves the firemans' hat.

For some perverse reason, she's become obsessed by "the crying baby" and takes great delight in watching a video clip of her own bad self whining for mommy - I'm not sure what to make of it, but it makes her laugh.

Dear Alex "pretend washing" Original Bunny - Bunny goes into the washing machine, Dear Alex would come out and announce "washing bunny" - then go back into the laundry and shout "She's done!", then repeat the process - about twenty times. Baffling.

Tomorrow is a big day for Dear Alex - her high stakes 'play group' for admission to our pre-school of choice, and it strikes me that it's an astonishing marker of how far we've come since she was a squishy little ball of screaming baby. I remember when we thought she'd never figure out the walking thing, and then when I thought she'd never stop the walking walking walking thing. Now she walks as though she's been doing it for years... well, months, anyways - and there is that bit that she's now exactly the right height to bump her head on any and every table-top, which she's been doing at relatively frequent intervals (daaaaddy!-I got a boo-boo) But she's now learned to duck elaborately most of the time when she percieves something that might be at head height. It's funny to watch.
On of the things I never worried about were her words - Dear Alex has words for everything, and delights in learning new ones and trying them out. She knows the difference between "escalator! - we're going on the escalator" and "elevator!", and seems to delight in the naming of things - that's a game we've been playing for a long time - "Daddy what's this! - this! - this!"
A walk down the street will get you - "a shooooe store - a book! store - a bank - that's a big big bus!" (emphasis is from Dear Alex).
Language and the use of words has always been a fascination of mine, and it's such a delight to be able to see the learning process in real-time. When she calls for me in the night (as she still does) it's still usually the formless howl of "DaaaadyDaddydaaaady" - but once in a while it's "Daddy - come here please - come to my room please". I live for that, and for the day we can actually talk about her books - right now, it's something between a duty and a chore and a great pleasure to read with Dear Alex, as she insists on reading two books at a time - the one that you're theoretically reading to her, and one that she's hypothetically reading herself. It can be frustrating, but if you call her on it - "are you paying attention?" She'll say yes, then finish the line you were about to read. My own theory is that she's bored. She can't read yet - but really wants to figure out what those marks mean, and in the meantime just takes comfort in holding a book that she's memorized, as you read to her a book she already knows by heart.

So, what will tomorrow bring? A deep question - I sincerely hope that Dear Alex warms to the idea (which I've already introduced - good suggestion, Beautiful Wife) of meeting a new teacher like Miss Chrissy, and going to a New School! (Emphasis mine) She's excited, and we'll see if that excitement beats her always awkward first few minutes of reserve...

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