Thursday, 24 April 2014

Sign Post

When you are learning to read, you have to read signs anyway you know how.

You use the biggest letters to help you guess what the rest of the letters mean.

You use the sign's location to decide what it might be all about.

You see the sign as a picture telling you something.

After you have learned to read, you do all the same things, just faster.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Pressure Drop

When my children were very small, they were relatively transparent.  With the exception of the mysterious times when sleep eluded them or unruly behaviour was the only way they could think of to express something, once the mystery was solved, the diaper was changed, the tylenol or the snack was dispensed or the nap was caved into, they went back to being transparent.  They told me directly (most of the time) what their motives were all about. (I am just painting the walls to welcome Santa, I flushed the spiderman down the toilet etc...) 

We were the ones who held our cards close to our chest. We'd sprinkle their day with little white lies to prop ourselves up and get to our destination (Sorry, the pool is closed today...This soup has no vegetables in it...I am so busy planning a really big slide that I cannot make a little slide today.)

Inevitably, their transparency has clouded a little and our own cards are falling from our hands.

As they learn to say things a certain way to ensure that a friend or one of us does not get hurt, and as their motives being more layered and obscure (to us), we begin to feel propped wider open to their knowing gazes.  They've learned about white lies.  With just a twitch of a line on my face, they pick up on a pressure drop and they swallow what it was that they were about to bring up.

As I give up controlling the facial twitches, they take up tugging on every line.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Frog's Eggs

One switch turns up the volume, the other switch, if you flip it, changes the music.

One time we caught a moth and it died because I left it at the beach overnight. I got it and put it back inside and I put it on the red chair.

I go on that side, I jump on that side and I go flying. And it's a teeter totter.  If a person is strong enough it could be a sling shot.

Tell me your plans, tell me your memories, tell me how things work.

Tell me where you found the frog's eggs again.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Loose Parts

We've convinced ourselves too many times that this toy or that one is needed or wanted.  However, it has been the "loose parts" that have carried the day with our kids.  My son's discovery of the marvels of a vacuum hose for marble rolling over took any product designed to do the same.  He has often quipped, as he does about any toy that seems to be having a great time, that he wished he himself was a marble and could go down the vacuum hose track.

A pair of 3D movie glasses with the lenses punched out have been frequently thrown into the mix, creating a frisson to a wide range of play scenarios.

The crib mattress has an even higher status.  It has been a trampoline, multiple (multiple!) versions of slides and launchers of all sorts.  It has a place of honour/hiding in our living room from which it is extracted atleast once a day.  It fills all kinds of gaps.

I remember a moment in time when giving my kid a spoon in a restaurant got us through a crucial 15 minute interval.

Loose parts make me have a soft spot of puzzle pieces that have lost their tribe, car parts that have been abandoned to live another day as another part of another toy and even single Barbie shoes.  Their "looseness" sets my kids free to figure out where they can be re-attached.


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Tunnel view

The need for tunnel thinking, required to cope with walking through snow drifts and rain, is dissipating.

Crack the surface

The surface has well and truly been cracked. Cracked by boots and separated for another season by sunshine, the shards of ice glisten while they can.