Sunday, October 7, 2007

Little Observers

Evan Vacuuming with Mommy Supervising

Evan Checking Out the Baby Swing

From my own experience I have found that toddlers are very observant little people. Parents know all too well how easily toddlers pick up on things. Bad language, for example. I remember Evan and Justin playing a game like bowling and Evan messed up and swore. Justin and I did a mental head slap. You always hear stories about a little one (perhaps a tad older) coming up to a woman and saying, "My mommy says you look terrible in that dress." On those occasions parents wished their kids had a mute button. Honestly, knowing these things can happen should make parents a little more cautious about what they say. Maybe the parents are the ones that need a mute button!

Being able to notice things is not all horror stories and bad words. Have you ever noticed how kids seem to instinctively know how to use the vacuum cleaner? Or how to comb their own hair? It's because they watch everything you do! Evan and Duncan are both good vacuumers, sweepers, and combers. Once language kicks in the observances become conversation. Last year we took a mirror down after Little Boy Bedtime. The next morning Evan came downstairs and said, "Where's the mirror?" or "The mirror's gone." Even before language is understandable, kids make their observances known. Duncan pointed at Justin's cell phone (which was on a shelf--I hadn't even seen it there!), then made the little sound he makes for "Hello?" I loved when Evan pointed to pictures in his books, and made little discoveries about what was happening in the background. He would tell me all about how the dinosaur (pronounced dinoso) had knocked over the bike or the rocking chair. Of course, a favorite attention grabber with Evan was asking "What happened?" "What happened to the rocking chair?" even though we had talked about how the dino knocked it over the previous night. Maybe he was just checking to see if I got it right!

In addition to loving Thomas the Tank Engine, Evan loved construction vehicles. He could name them all. He would test me on these books, too. He'd ask, "What's that?" And I would tell him, even though I knew that he knew already. Sometimes I would spice it up and call a digger a schoolbus, just to get a smile. We were lucky (is that the right word?) enough to have a large construction site down the road all summer and into the fall last year. Coincidentally, this was on the way to a favorite park. Evan was mesmerized. I could hear him in the backseat naming trucks "Front End Loader, Digger, Crane (pronouced cwane.)"

We're looking forward to new discoveries with Duncan.

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