Tuesday, January 8, 2013

They're Sponges

(I typed that title and immediately thought of an episode of Seinfeld. If you know what I'm talking about, sorry. If you don't know what I'm talking about, sorry.)

Graham is like a sponge. He absorbs EVERYTHING. It's amazing and scary at the same time. He knows when Gangnam Style starts playing after hearing only a few notes. Today he said, "I want to dance." And then he requested Call Me Maybe. What? (Maybe a better question is, what are we letting him listen to???)

He is just learning new things all the time. The world is an exciting place. Sometimes I forget how many new things there are for me to learn each day. There's no time to be bored. I mean, I can just look out the window and try to identify all the different birds I see. Sure it may be nerdy, but it's still something new.

G and I have a book of children's poems that we read from time to time. There's a poem about a cow and one about trains. A poem about two lizards named Sally and Manda (so clever) and one about a black bug. We read the poem about the rabbit and the rain and bathtime. It's a great little book. There are a few poems that I have started reciting to him because I know them by heart, partly from my own childhood and partly from reading this book to him.

I recite:
I had a little turtle. He lived in a box.
He swam in the puddles and he climbed on the rocks.

He snapped at a mosquito.
He snapped at a flea.
He snapped at a minnow.
And he snapped at me!

He caught the mosquito.
He caught the flea.
He caught the minnow.
But he didn't catch me.

Cute. Boyish. Easy to remember.

I recite:
Mix a pancake, stir a pancake, pop it in the pan!
Fry the pancake, toss the pancake, catch it if you can!

I chant this while making pancakes, which happens VERY regularly at our house since my son loves him some pancakes. Seriously. He can eat more than I can sometimes. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not.

And I recite:
Animal crackers and cocoa to drink.
That is the finest of suppers, I think.
When I grow up and can have what I please,
I think I shall always insist upon these.

This one has another verse but that's all I know. Obviously this is the animal cracker poem for when you eat animal crackers. And since we have a canister of them, it's a regular occurrence.

G and his sister got some bath toys for Christmas and one of them is a sea turtle. He was playing with it while I was feeding Adele and began reciting the phrase, "I had a little turtle. He lived in a box," over and over and over. Awww...he really is listening when I read him books that I choose.

Well, that little sponge of mine surprised me again yesterday by reciting the whole animal cracker poem, unprompted, at snack time. It was adorable. Terribly hard to understand since a lot of the words were just mumbling, but adorable.

He's so stinkin' smart! (Says the completely unbiased and impartial mother.)

Moral of the story: Read poetry to your kids. They are sponges. They will absorb it and remember it. It will teach them about rhythm and rhyming and language and words. They'll begin to make connections between what they read and the world around them. That's comprehension. It's important. It's on college entrance exams.

*Sidenote: At our house, when you refuse both of the choices your mom gives you, you go shirtless in the winter. That's just how we roll around here.*