Thursday, January 12, 2012


I loved staying home with my kids when they were small. I still love to look at all of my favorite pictures from that time in my life. I keep them ready for viewing in my top desk drawer.  For a while it was just me and my son. He had lots, and I mean LOTS, of energy and we would take daily walks to try and expend some of that energy. He was never the type of child who would just sit on the floor and read a book or play with one toy. He was all over the place. And he wanted his mommy with him. He was into everything - "ah, a future scientist with lots of curiosity we thought". Trying to undo the screws holding a table together - "ah, an engineer in the making". Endless hours lining up little metal cars along the fireplace bricks - "ah, look how precise, a mathematician for sure".

I read many baby books in my pregnancy, and one described how a parent shouldn't just teach a child about red, green, blue; but should expand that to cardinal red, emerald green, cobalt blue. Instead of pointing out a bird, point out a robin, or a bluejay, or a crow. So on our long walks through the neighborhood our conversations consisted of "Look! An oak tree. Look, there's a cardinal". And he would dutifully repeat after me.

I started him in part time daycare because I wanted him to learn some social skills by being around others, and not just me all the time. Because it tugged at my heart, and my conscience, to do this I would drop him off a little before lunch so he could eat, take a nap, maybe play in the playground before I picked him up a few hours later. I just wanted to transition him to being around others, especially other kids. I used this time to go to college classes to finish my degree.

One day I went in to pick him up and all the two year olds were sitting in a circle while the teacher showed flash cards of different colors for them to learn their reds and blues. As I stood in the door watching she held up a card and my son answered "magenta!"

She looked up at me and commented "someone's been working on their colors!" And I couldn't have been prouder.

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