a red-letter kids’ day

Posted on January 16th, 2009 by mountain girl  |  No Comments »

When I was a kid, January 15th was the day my lovingly innovative parents designated as “Kids’ Day”- a fine day of gifts and surprises to kind of take the place of a Christmas we didn’t celebrate. Kids’ Day only lasted 2 or 3 years before it sort of fizzled out, but as you can see, it has lasted forever in my memory. Which, I think, is the point of celebrations in general: to remember good things, and of course, have a blast.

Today (actually yesterday, since it’s now past midnight) was a very fine Kid’s Day for a certain little red headed lady. She started it off, sippy cup of kombucha in hand, by going through my stack of 30+ back issues of National Geographic, pointing at each picture that interested her, questioning what to call it. She learned about bison, skiing, coral reef fish, ostriches, and a fire-eater, among other things. Then she turned her attention toward a book I was reading, and made a discovery (one that I have never made!) that a serif letter O looks like 2 crescent moons facing each other. Soon she was identifying all the large-print O’s in my book as “moon”. Then I showed her a letter S and she was very interested that it not only looks like a snake, but it says “sss…” so she went on a search for S’s.

My motherly instinct said take advantage of this learning craze, so I unearthed some words I had printed on cardstock in very large red letters. I showed them to her as she nursed quietly with one wide eye glued on the word cards. I started with 5 familiar words, then  added 5 or 6 more, reading each word as I showed the card. When she demanded more, I just went over the same 10 cards, telling her what they said and letting her point to the S’s and “moons”.

 

We went over them several times during that hour, and she would try to invent her own names for the words before I read them to her. When I silently showed her “kitty” in the 4th or 5th round of words and waited for her made-up word, she instead said, “meow”. Yay! She recognized it! Later, she read “banana” as “bah-dee”, which is what she calls bananas. It was a ton of fun for both of us, and my girl read her first 2 words.

The rest of the day turned up a whole entourage of moons: slices of celery, a broken cheerio, the crescent-shaped fin of a toy fish, letter-o’s everywhere. I never realized how many moons surround us! It was like finding objects in a hidden picture.

Later we went to Whole Foods where her loving Dadda swiped a ginger snap cookie from the bulk bins which she munched happily for about 20 minutes (don’t ask me how she made it last that long!) and she got a brand-new pink and yellow toothbrush, which she also munched on for quite a while after we got home.

She finished her Kids’s Day grandly with sweet potatoes, juicy mushrooms plucked from Dadda’s steak, and fresh strawberries (interesting combo!) and for dessert, dulce de leche de Mamma, till she fell asleep, milk dribbling from her chin, clasping her little lion.

Happy Kid’s Day and sweet dreams, baby girl!

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