Big Brother tugged at me today and asked for School work. So I let him choose, he decided he wanted to work in his wipe Off Color and Shape book. We have had the book, I bet, two years now it was one of Big Bother’s first “work books”.
The erasable markers work better, and are better for his handwriting practice and fine motor too, but Momma is frequently lazy and has them use crayons. The markers are such a temptation, Big Bother gets silly and Little Brother wants them then that is a fight and a mess and then we have three upset people. So crayons are a better bet most of the time.
The book is mostly below his level – a lot of matching colors and shapes and picking out the item in the row that doesn’t match (again based on color or shape), all activities that Big Bother at 4 y 7 m has been doing successful for more than a year. Frankly the book is more the level of Little Bother. But, I let Big Brother choose his work and he chose it. He flew though several pages of matching colors and shapes, doing them as quickly as I would.
Towards the back of the book there are several pages that ask the child to complete the pattern. Things like red circle, blue circle, red circle, ______. This is not something Big Bother has mastered, and I was glad to see him choose these pages and actually put forth effort on them just not mess around and wander off as he tends to do when he can’t speed though a school like challenge. We work on the pages together and his skill at “what comes next” is really improving. I’d say he got about 4 out of 5 all on his own and about half of them on the first try. Most importantly he didn’t get mad or frustrated when I’d do one with him a 2nd time and say “are you sure?” That is huge, that he was will to try them, and to re-try the ones he didn’t get on the first try.
Little Brother joined us at the table and chose my lap rather than the chair I had waiting for him on the other side of momma, to give Big Bother a little space. Little Bother took the other wipe off book and put a crayon in MY hand and directed me to circle things. I TRIED briefly to ask Little Bother about colors or shapes; but he was having none of that THAT. Little Brother has only since the start of the month consented to show us the location of his nose and ears, he will tolerate no other inquiries – about body parts, colors or shapes or anything. I pray the child is just stubborn; not that THAT sounds all that good either, but it is happier explanation than him just not knowing. .
We recently discovered that to read in “peace” – that is to read without Little Brother constantly pulling books out of my hands and yelling at us, we put Tom and Jerry on the TV with no sound. Little Brother will then cuddle with us, read and then watch the silent TV if he gets distracted or bored rather than automatically attacking me. It is really hard to read, and Big Brother loves it, in the 2 or 3 minute segments Little Brother would like to allow us. Little Brother commonly will not even let us finish one book. Tom and Jerry are by no means a fix-it. Some days it works, some days he couldn’t care less, even on the days he seems distracted from tormenting BOOK TIME by Tom and Jerry, it is a decrease in attacks not a full cease-fire.
Developmental I know, but tough on Big Brother who would like to read for 60 or more minutes at a setting. This is becoming a real struggle, Little Brother just don’t like to hear me reading. He tries to pull books out of my hands and yells. I don’t really understand, he has heard us reading every day since his conception, by the time he was born Big Brother and I were already reading at least 30 minutes a couple of times a day. Big Brother and I whiled away a lot of my morning sickness, my exhaustion, the summer heat and my pregnancy reading stack after stack of books. We spent much of the early days of a newbie reading too. So this is not a new thing for Little Brother – to have us, as a family, reading at least once and usually 2 or 3 times day. Little Brother just has never liked it; at best he ignores us and won’t join in. But a lot of the time he actively fights me, yells and cries and tries to stop us.
I have tried reading more short books; I have actively to pull out 2 or 3 board books at each BOOK TIME. Those he generally will take from me to look at on his own but still doesn’t want them read to him, or out loud in general. Once in a while he will sit by me and look at a book while I read for Big Brother, but that is always short lived. At least half of the books we read are still very rhyming and repetitive so that should be “in his range” the boys are only 23.5 months apart and Big Brother is still only picking out and reading picture books (your standard 32 page things) not chapter books or anything that should be too advanced or dry for Little Brother; everything has pictures and all that.
I feel so bad that my boy doesn’t like BOOK TIME. I really hate it. Little Brother has started looking at books more and more on his own, but not for any amount of time. Big Brother, when I was pregnant, so he was less that 23 months old, would sit and look at books for 10 or 15 minutes at a stretch. While he does seem to look at them alone, some, he is totally not interested in BOOK TIME or being read to; and I just don’t understand nor do I have any idea how to change his opinion.
I am about two thirds of the way though Sarah Pailn’s book Going Rogue.
I really like it. I do truly wish there was more detail about the family; but as much as I desire that I fully respect her privacy and more importantly the privacy of her five children. I know when the Truman House was opened as a historical spot it was specified that the upstairs not be opened until after Margret Truman’s death, to try to allow her some “private memories”. I have read about the fifth pregnancy, a surprise pregnancy Downs Syndrome baby. I was stuck by her honesty. There had to be a temptation to SMILE big and say ‘this is great, I have total faith and I am ready” – that makes her sound stronger, more confident in her faith, more ready. However she honestly talks of fear and a distant feeling of ‘why”.
A selection of today’s books:
Click Clack Moo Cows the Type. By Lewis. I love this book, love it.
Curious George goes to the beach. Copyright 1999 – Little Brother actually sat in my lap – by choice – for part of this one.
Vincent’s Colors: words and Pictures by Vincent Van Gohb. Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Bat in the Library. By Lies. Big Brother remember reading Bats at the Beach at my friends house on vacation and wanted to read it too. The Library book is actually the sequel.
One Hundred Hungary Ants. By Mackain
Cabbage Moon by Chadwick