Monday, August 31, 2009
Smart.. or smart alec?
Tomorrow is my little boys first half day at preschool. He is excited. I am nervous. It's such a big step. Of course he has been away from mommy before. Mimi Becky and Grandpa Bill, Ama Madeleine.. they have all watched Joseph from a few hours to a few days. Joseph has been absolutely fine and mommy and daddy have enjoyed the time together. There really is no reason to be nervous. Besides.. our little boy is pretty smart. He can count almost to twenty. He knows and recognizes the letters of the alphabet. And he is recently learning to say please. "Pweeee". Very endearing.
It is important to me that he learns certain things from a young age. Politeness in word and deed is what we are working on now. Of course a two year old doesn't automatically understand why he just can't wriggle up unto the seat of the cool fire truck in the museum and dislodge another child that way if it works and gets him the coveted seat behind the wheel. But he is learning and he starts to understand the phrases "wait' "wait your turn" and is slowly beginning to understand the concept of sharing.
One of the other things we have tried to teach him early is to be a good 'helper' to his mommy. Before he was a year and a half old Joseph 'helped' me with the laundry. Mommy pulled washed clothes out of the washing machine, gave them to Joseph and he helped by putting them in the dryer. When it is time to eat, Joseph takes out his own bowl and cutlery. And when he spills something he helps clean it up. He sometimes even helps mommy with cooking (he gets to stir when I bake a cake) or cleaning (with a little rag and a spray bottle of water). Of course mommy is very proud when he helps. She tells him he is a good mommy helper. She tells him that he is a big boy to help her like that. And tells him what a good boy he is when he helps and listens.
As you can see we have tried to instill certain words and values in him. Some days I think we have a long way to go. Some days I think I have thought him well. Some days I think I have thought him too well.
This evening, we were starting the before bed ritual. Joseph had had a bad, was in his jammies and about to watch sesame street when mommy noticed that all the blocks were still on the floor. Tidying up the blocks is something that Joseph will do, but mommy needs to remind him. So I told Joseph that he needed to put the "blocks in the box". Don't chores sound much more fun if they rhyme or are put on song?
Joseph however ignored mommy for Sesame Street that was about to begin. Mommy repeated the request. Joseph was still fascinated by the people who sponsor sesame street. Mommy was not about to be ignored though. So she cruelly pushed pause on the remote control and told Joseph once more to put the blocks in the box. This time I got the desired reaction. Joseph started to move and put the blocks away. Both mommy and daddy pronounced him a good boy. I watched him with tenderness as my not quite two year old diligently put blocks away.
Then he looked at me, utterly adorable and came to me with two blocks in his hands. He gently pushed them in my own, looked up and simply said "hep" (help), in the utter trust that now mommy would help him with HIS chores.
Bill and I laughed heartily and mommy did end up helping him as he put his blocks away. What can I say? He has.. people skills?