Whenever our pediatrician scared the bejeezus out of us with the whole “your kid’s not speaking or pointing and may be autistic” stuff, another area of concern was her lack of “imaginative play.” My kid loved looking at little objects – sticks and rocks were really hot – and running. That was her “play.” Fast forward a few months and she’s chatting up a storm and imagining a whole wonderful world. Academically, it’s simply magical to watch your kid evolve, “milestones” aside.
I’ve mentioned probably about 894 times that we have used some educational DVDs around here, as babysitting mechanisms (I do have to work from home and occasionally – oh, I don’t know – use the bathroom) as well as stimulation for her little mind. The researchers can say what they will: I have seen with my own eyes and kid that all TV is not total and complete rubbish. I would not park her in front of it for days on end, but….
ANYWAY, we’ve been watching some of the Brainy Baby and Baby Einstein Xmas episodes. They may not be as intellectually stimulating as the ABC shows, but she loves the singing and has been absorbing all kinds of holiday cheer. I have seen this translate into her play which makes me happy for all kinds of reason. Examples:
1) These holiday show-makers love to show snow, which does us no good at all in south Louisiana. That doesn’t faze my kid a bit. I caught her in the kitchen after breakfast one day making “snow angels” using her C3PO doll and the toast crumbs on the floor. I wish like anything I could have caught a pic of that.
2) In one of the videos, they show the process of making candy canes from pouring the hot syrup to putting the hardened sugar in a puller to adding the striped bits and feeding it into the batch roller. It’s like Unwrapped for tots. I noticed a week ago that she kept grabbing all the pillows off of our bed and dragging them into the living room, where she would pile them into a neat stack. At that point, she began “narrating” like the video, straddling the pillows and saying “that’s a big piece of candy” and “that’s how it tastes SO good.” I had to admit that in the video, the candy out of the pulling machine did, in fact, look like a pile of pillows. While this comparison would have escaped me, it did not escape my kid.
3) I have a Santa tea light holder, which is large and squarish. Since it’s metal and not-breakable, I put it in the “kid zone” for Stella to play with. Once she noticed that the side opened, it became a “mailbox.” As with the scene in one of her Baby Babble DVDs, she would got to it all excited, open it, and then say sadly “No mail.” I thought that was so sad and mentioned it to her daddy as I was flying out the door to work the other day that he ought to find something to stick inside as “mail” so that she could be surprised. Boy, did he deliver.
Those of us fortunate enough to be raising kids with husbands/partners know that living with other folks isn’t always easy. None of us are perfect. More than once I have cussed under my breath as I picked up Stella’s toys AND my husband’s socks off the floor. There are days when I wish I could send him to go live in the backyard. But stunts like this one are why he’s allowed to stay inside.
I got a video emailed to me later that morning of Stella so excited with her “mail.” I couldn’t actually see what he had done until I got home. He fashioned the cutest little “letter” to Stella from Daddy. I’m no scrapbooker, but this makes me want to start being one. I will keep this forever, even if it’s just jammed into the back cover of her baby book. Daddy did good. She’s still toting it around the house.
I love imaginations, both large and small!!