Month: September 2014

“Read five books. No milk.”

H lobs the opening offer in our pre-nap negotiations over how many books to read and the location and manner in which to read them. No milk is an unusual request from him. I make a mental note of it.

“We have time for two books, sweet pea. Let’s pick them out together,” I counteroffer.

We sit down on the floor in front of a stack of library books.

“One, two, three, read all of these,” he says, fanning four books off the pile.

“We have time for two books, sweetness. How about these?” I hold up two of the books, Chicken Soup with Rice and Pierre, that he pulled from the pile.

“And this one and this one,” he says, gesturing emphatically toward the other two, Global Babies and Where is Baby’s Belly Button.

“Okay, sweets, we’ll compromise. We’ll read Global Babies, too. Three books,” I tell him, placing them on the bed.

In response, he picks up Where is Baby’s Belly Button and throws it after the other three.

“Compromise this one!” he says decisively.

Well. How could I argue with that? Four books it is, with milk. I did not know how many books we would end up reading, but I had little doubt there would be milk. There always is.

The theme at story time today was numbers and counting.

We heard Baby Bear Counts One by Ashley Wolff and Count the Monkeys by Mac Barnett. We sang along to a flannel board story/song based on Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin.

We sang lots of songs, including Five Dinosaurs:

There were five dinosaurs driving in cars
Having a “wheely” good time
They said, “Step on the gas, we’ll go really fast!”
And they did, until one got a flat tire.
CA-CHUNK, CA-CHUNK, CA-CHUNK, WHOOOOSH ––
And he said, “Go on without me…”

Repeat with 4, 3, 2, and 1 dinosaur(s)

(Last verse)
And she said, “I know what I’ll do! I’ll put on the spare!”
So she jacked up the car, and she took off the flat,
And she put on the spare,
And she said, “I think I’ll go pick up my friends!”
Then there were five dinosaurs, driving in cars
Having a “wheely” good time
They said, “Step on the gas, we’ll go really fast!”
And then on down the road they went flying.
So long, dinosaurs! See you next time!

We sang two fingerplay songs, one to the tune of Row Row Row Your Boat:

One, one, show me one, show me one right now,
One, one, show me one, show me one right now.

(Repeat with 2, 3, 4, 5, up to 10)

And one called Five Elephants in the Bathtub:

One elephant in the bathtub,
Going for a swim,
Knock-knock (clap twice), splash-splash (slap knees twice),
Come on in! (motion with both hands to come in)

Repeat with 2, 3, and 4 elephants

(Last verse)
Five elephants in the bathtub,
Going for a swim,
Knock-knock (clap twice), splash-splash (slap knees twice),
And they all FELL IN!

The early learning tip:
“Learning about math concepts doesn’t have to come from books about math or numbers. Every book – and every conversation – offers an opportunity to count by ones or in pairs, or to talk about more or less. Math ideas fit perfectly into your day!”

“Are you waking up?”

It is the first wake up of the night, and H has summoned me by calling out mama three times.

“Yeah,” he mumbles.

“Are you waking up for milk?” I ask him.

“Yeah.” Another mumble.

My eyes have not adjusted to the dark of the room. I search for him on the bed with my hands.

“Glad to see you,” he says in a small, quiet voice, as I slide him to the side to make space for myself. He is still half asleep, and it is hard to tell whether his response is conversational or whether he is cycling through the words and phrases he heard during the day.

Either way, my heart tells me it means something. It means he knows that I will come for him when he calls. It means he knows nothing different. It means he senses I will always be glad to see him, day or night. It means he trusts me.

This is the only thing I imagine I will ever need in exchange for responding to his nighttime needs. His trust.

“Can you please give the nipple some space, M love?” my sister asks her toddler. 

She is carrying him, and they are walking a handful of steps behind me and H on the side of the road. Our own mother is walking between us.

“Like some milk!” H shouts.

“It doesn’t take much, does it?” our mother laughs.

No, it really doesn’t take much at all.