Monday, November 16, 2009

Two Hours With Sponge

A few weeks ago when we changed over to daylight savings, our regular nap schedule got off track. Because of this I was able to spend about two hours alone with Sponge, while Scientist was sleeping.

Sponge has mastered crawling. He even managed to pull himself up onto our toy basket in order to get something in there that caught his fancy. He’s getting so big so fast. As I watched him play on the living room floor, going back and forth from one toy to the next, I began to think about all the things he is learning and doing, how different he is from Scientist. My thought process continued along the lines of all the things I want Sponge to know, and how I would teach it to him. Eventually, it occurred to me that I have probably only really taught him one thing in his eight months of life so far. And that thing is trust.

Aaron and I have created an environment for our children where they feel safe and loved, and because of that they have trust. They trust that their needs will be met, that people are kind, and that life is good. I can pretty confidently say we have taught them this. I am starting to think this might be the only thing they learn that I have control over.

Have you ever tried to teach a baby to roll over? You can encourage, and coax, and exemplify all you want, but the baby won’t roll over until the baby is ready. The same goes for walking, talking, eating solid foods, and I assume potty training (I’ll let you know when we venture into that realm with Scientist). Maybe the same is also true for other types of learning.

I feel like it is still my job to create a learning environment, to encourage learning, to be an example of learning, and to provide opportunities for Scientist and Sponge to learn. But at the same time I need to be very conscientious that they will learn when they are ready, that they will learn differently from one another and from other kids, and that they are on their own timetable. This is going to be a challenge, but hopefully, it’s also what makes it fun.

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