David: Mom! I don't know how to read these letters to make them fit this puzzle!
Me: Well, let's sound them out and find the matches. What is this letter?
David: Umm, uhhh, Duh, Duh, Duh...a Gee!
Me: Think about it David. "G" makes a "guh" sound and "D" makes a "duh" sound. You had it right the first time.
He puts it in the right spot. I cheer and clap. We do a "high five".
Me: Let's do another letter.
D: ok! I want to find the one that goes with the Guh Guh Guh...Grapes!
Me: Ok, well, we're looking for the letter "G" then. It makes the sound "guh" as in grapes. Do you see it?
Me: here it is! (I put in in the slot)
D: VERY GOOD MOMMY!!! Good job!! You did great matching the letter and the picture!! (puts his hand up for a high five with a HUGE grin on his face)
Mary Louise: (whining)
Brent: Mary Louise. I just asked that you eat what you asked to have. Eat what's on your plate before asking for something else.
ML: But I don't want this! I want something else!
B: Then you shouldn't have asked for that. Just try it. Then you can have something else.
B: If you keep behaving that way, we can't go anywhere today. No one likes to be around whining.
ML: Something ELSE! (stomps her feet and balls her fists) you stop being mean Daddy!
B: Mean? I'm not the one whining and not eating. Maybe you should call Mere and Pops like you wanted to and tell them I'm being mean. Maybe they can help you.
ML: Mere and Pops don't like me! I can't call them.
B: What are you talking about? Mere and Pops adore you.
ML: I'm talking about Mere and Pops don't like me when I'm whining. I can't call them right now.
Me: Mary Louise what is wrong?
ML: I feel angry!!! I have my angry face ONNNNN!!!
Me: Well, what can I do to help you find your happy face again? I miss my happy Meesey-pie.
ML: I don't know where to find my happy face Mommy! It's around on my body somewhere...but I can't find it right now.
I love that they can tell me how they feel.
The big kids have fully embraced teaching Everett all they know. Furthermore, Everett has fully embraced the role of "student". It has empowered Mary Louise and David who I've heard, on more than one occasion, speaking softly but sternly to Everett about table etiquette, toy room manners and navigation of the house in general. They demonstrate, he watches and listens, he tries it, they offer constructive advice. It's amazing. The added pressure and responsibility of having a constant audience sponging in all they do has tailored their behavior in such a positive way. My hope is that they look back on these years with all of the fondness - maybe more - that I have for my baby bros.
Mary Louise and David are constantly asking about boundaries as well: Mom? Is this ok? Can we...? Are we...? Will we...? Is this how you say...? They are spending less time pushing boundaries and more time understanding why they are there in the first place.
PEOPLE!!!! WE HAVE A WALKER!!!!!!!
Everett has been taking steps for quite some time - months in fact. However, he typically does so when he's set up - I place him standing, Brent sits with arms open waiting, Everett giggles the few steps in between us and so on.
Last night, Brent walked in and Everett suddenly got down from me on the sofa and crossed 2 rooms to get to his daddy! We were all so proud - possible none so much as Everett himself. He's continued his efforts today. He'll fall and instead of reverting to a crawl, he stands and tries again.
Growing babies, greatest blessings.