Wednesday, July 27, 2011
The babies are doing well. Baby L is now crawling. His new favorite thing is to look out the window and bang on it. He’ll sit in front of the window and babble to himself. Today, we tried letting him walk with a push toy, but he’s not ready. He doesn’t understand that he has to put one foot in front of the other. He was fascinated with how the wheels turned on the toy. He kept spinning the wheels and rolling the toy back and forth. Most of the time, he was hitting me with it, but at least he was enjoying himself. He’s also been introduced to a lot of new foods in the past few weeks. He was extremely picky before, but now he’ll eat just about anything. Another game he likes now is when I role a ball away from him, he’ll crawl after it. He’ll bring the ball back to me so we can play again. He’s also replaced Crawling Baby at the gate as you come into the room. He likes to stand there and see what’s going on. We have to move him every time we want to get in or out.
Crawling Baby is now walking. I saw him take a few steps a few weeks ago. Now he’s almost running, but he usually falls because he’s going too fast. Yesterday, he grabbed my hand and we walked around the room a few times. He got new shoes this week which he loves. We know this because he doesn’t even try to take them off. He didn’t like the sandals he had before. I think the shoes give him better balance. Anyway, he likes to walk back and forth across the room from me to the couch. He’ll do that with anyone who will sit and wait for him. In September he will be transitioned to the toddler room. It’s crazy that he’s moving up already. Today he got to play with shaving cream and some paint. He liked the squishy feeling of it and got it all over the place.
Baby C is also crawling now. She also walks while holding on to things. She was having fun walking in front of a push toy today. She’s also learned to clap her hands which she does often. She’ll babble when I clap her hands for her, but when she does it herself, she’s very quiet like she’s concentrating. She’s teething right now so she wanted to snuggle for most of the day. I also played games with her and Baby L on the big ball where I’d lift them over the ball and back down to the floor. I’d sit them up on the ball and bounce the ball while holding on to them so they wouldn’t fall. They seem to like anything to do with the big ball.
Baby K has gotten better about being at the center, but I haven’t seen her much. She’s leaving later in August. Baby M and Baby J can sit up by themselves now, but I haven’t seen much of them either. Baby M naps a lot when he’s there. He’s also slower to warm up to unfamiliar people so he doesn’t interact as much with me except when it’s my time to feed him. He doesn’t mind that, but he squirms a lot and it takes a while for him to finish the bottle. They are all growing and learning so fast. By the next time I see them, I’m sure they will have learned something new.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
"Creative play is like a spring that bubbles up from deep within a child."" - Joan Almon
“Play is the highest form of research.” - Albert Einstein
When I was about four or five, my favorite toys were my dolls and kitchen set. I had a ton of accessories for the dolls. I enjoyed pretending to care for the babies. I named them all and there were a couple that I took everywhere with me. Before I could remember, my grandmother got me my first doll. My mom and grandmother told me that I couldn’t stand the feeling of her hair so they had to cut it off. After that, I’d actually play with the doll, but when I was about five, I got a new doll that I called Kelly who was my favorite for the next couple of years. The last thing I remember about playing with those two dolls is dressing them up in my old baby clothes. I also had a few sets of blocks that I played with often. I’d build houses, roads, castles and cages for my plastic animals. I’ve always enjoyed creating things and I’d usually start projects by myself. I’d use cardboard boxes, paint, paper scraps; anything really that I could make something out of.
For outdoor play, my favorite thing at home and preschool was the sand box. At preschool, there sand was full of clay. I remember finding as many pieces of clay as I could and putting them in a bucket. My grandfather built my sand box at home. There, I’d spend hours building sand castles, filling buckets of sand and making roads. Many of my memories of play took place outside. In elementary school, my favorite place to play was the beach with my best friend. We’d either go to a beach by her house or another beach in town. We swam, got knocked over by ocean waves and walked along the beach looking for shells and sea glass. I had quite a sea glass and shell collection back then. In the winter, I remember playing in the snow. I’d help my mom shovel, build snowmen, make snow angels, jump into snow banks and slide down big hills. I think I’d be a different person today without all those play experiences. I think children need a variety of play experiences to make them well-rounded.
Photo found from here.
Unfortunately, these days, children don’t get the same opportunities to play. Much of their time is taken up by technology, structured activities or sports and many children don’t even live near their friends. That makes it hard for them to play outside of school. Parents have more safety concerns than ever before. Whether they are valid or not, they are a big reason for keeping kids inside. At school, there is no time left for play because of the push for learning math and literacy at an earlier age. Children are less connected with nature now. I learned a lot from playing in nature when I was a kid because nature is hands on and can be experienced with all the senses. Today’s children don’t get enough time outside and most of the ones who do stay in playgrounds. I hope that children can start to connect with nature, explore natural settings like beaches or the woods and that they have a variety of play experiences instead of only with video games or the small amount of time they might get at school. My hope for the future is that play can be returned to children’s homes and classrooms.
Friday, July 8, 2011
When thinking about this assignment, I realized there weren’t many people to talk about in my relationship reflection. I used to be close to my grandfather before he passed away and I had a few close friends during school, but we’ve grown apart over the years. They have their own lives now. It’s difficult to maintain relationships when the people are moving in totally different directions. There are a couple of people I’ll talk about here who are important to me. This is weird for me because it’s hard to put the way I feel about these relationships into words. It’s not something I’m used to talking about.
My boyfriend, Carlos:
I can talk to him about pretty much anything. If I have a problem, I can ask for advice. He supports me in the things I want to do, makes me laugh and helps me out with whatever comes up.
Then there is my mom. She’s a kind and hard working person. She was there for my brothers and I when we needed something. She’s always pushed me to do my best, has been my advocate throughout school and I can also ask her for help if I need anything.
Other important people in my life are the children I work with. At each place I’ve worked at, there are always one or two children who I really connect with. First, it was Maddie and Shy and now it’s Crawling Baby and Baby L. It’s not that I want to show favoritism or that I don’t like the other children because I do, but there are always a few who stand out. These children have all been different, but they are the reason I like my job. They have entertained me, taught me new things and I’m always happy to see them.
I’ve always had better relationships with animals than people because animals love unconditionally, they aren’t judgmental and they provide comfort. When you’ve had a bad day, they know it and can cheer you up. This has been the case since I’ve had my first dog, Sully. He was abused by previous owners, but we took him in and showed him a good home. He was sensitive, but protective.
When I lost Sully, my cat Doorknob became my best buddy. Seeing him could always put me in a better mood. I left home for my first semester of college. The night I came home for the holidays, he jumped up in my lap. That was the only time he ever sat in anyone’s lap. It was obvious he missed me. I have so many great memories of him.
My current pets are cats named Diamond and Mellow. I’ve had Diamond since she was a kitten and Mellow since he was one year old. Diamond especially has a strong bond with me. She gets mad if I leave for any longer than a few hours. They run to the door and are happy to see me when I come home. They provide me with entertainment, joy, comfort and friendship. In return, I give them a good home and make sure all their needs are being met.
I’m lucky to have these amazing people and animals in my life.