Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Little Abbey Update

Although Little Abbey had been better about it the further she got past the age of three, she still had her share of meltdowns when it was time to go to bed and she wasn't ready to go to bed. If it wasn't a crying match, it would be ten additional trips to help her go to the bathroom for the third time, get her a drink of water, help her find a favorite stuffed animal that she can't and won't sleep without, pickup up a dropped pillow, etc. She was getting to the point where she could drag out going to bed for nearly an hour. I was more than tired of this phase.

Then one evening, we went through our normal routine of reading a book, saying our prayers with a kiss and a hug and I told her that she could quietly play in her room until she got tired as long as she shut her own light out. She eagerly hopped onto the floor and began to quietly play. Not five minutes later, the light went out and she fell asleep without complaints. From that day on for the last three months or so, this has been our new bedtime routine. Perhaps the longest she has stayed up has been fifteen minutes but the large majority of nights it has been less than five. She initially tried pushing the new rules by asking me to go with her to the bathroom but I gently told her that she is big enough she can go by herself and she does, without complaints. I have re-obtained my hour or two of ME-TIME, a most important chunk of time in the life of a parent, back again for use in finishing up some household chores or reading.

One morning while going downstairs to head towards daycare, Little Abbey walked down the seven stairs chanting, "cuatro, cinco, cuatro, cinco, cuatro, cinco, seis!" Although I do know Spanish, or more correctly, once knew Spanish, I certainly haven't taught her how to count in the language. I'm pretty sure the pre-school didn't teach her nor the daycare so that only leaves one logical culprit, Dora the Explorer. I'm still not sure how she learned how to use her mother's iPod Touch better than I do, her tech savvy dad.

11 comments:

R. Sherman said...

I remember when my daughter started counting in Spanish, thanks to Sesame Street. Now's the time for your wife to jump in with the Spanish and Tagalog in a big way. Her little mind is like a huge dry sponge, just waiting to be filled up. Plus, according to my wife, the linguist, studies show the brain of small children is perfect for learning innumerable languages. Little kids do not perceive any difficulty and will sort out the words appropriately without damaging whatever becomes their primary tongue. When someone reaches adolescence, however, a "switch" in the brain gets thrown, and language learning becomes many times more difficult.

Cheers.

Beau said...

Congrats... that is awesome. I love the way you've helped her learn to be self-sufficient.

Vince said...

I totally agree with Shermans' comment above. But I would add that there's a need for the kids language skill be reinforced with regular immersion.
If I had kids of my own I would continue the same idea through to any abstract areas of education.
And you do realise that YOU insisted she take the first step, where the last one is when you hand her off, and you step back. Having a girl child must be one prolonged slow ripping off of the plaster.

TC said...

I'm with Sherman. Teach your a ton of languages now. She can handle it. It's when she hits her teen years - and can actually take classes on them - that it gets harder for her to learn them.

Ed said...

All - We do work on Tagalog but really haven't worked on Spanish. Fortunately, Tagalog has a lot of Spanish in it which is how I am able to pick it up thanks to three years of Spanish in high school which I had to beat in my head thanks to that switch in the off position. My daughter already knows more Tagalog than me thanks to her switch still in the on position and since I blogged about this, she can count to ten in Spanish.

geri said...

Ed, isn't it wonderful re trying new things that works. I love your new nighttime ritual. That's great about the tagalog, I should work on Evan's too. He has recently started parroting me on my visayan words "sige na" (sinega he says) when I get impatient with him lol What stuff does Little Abbey does with your Ipod? Does she do games with it?

Murf said...

How nice that you talk to her and treat her like this (i.e., choices and consequences) rather than as a baby. Very refreshing to see.

Murf said...

By the way, I noticed you added a link to Pogue's Posts. I love David Pogue. You must enjoy him as well.

sage said...

I'm not sure how kids know, intiutively, how to work things like itouch phones... but they do! She's growing up fast.

Ed said...

Geri - We have a couple free apps for spelling words like train, cat, party, etc with sound effects that she likes. I have also transferred several Disney movies from CD, to my computer, to the iPod touch that she watches when on car trips. Makes our life a lot easier.

Murf - She is growing up so fast, I still wish I could treat her like a baby at times. I found Pogue through your sidebar and kind of enjoy it, especially the side of me really into computer technology many years ago.

Sage - I'm sure a lot of trial and error. She really just loved touching the screen and having things happen for the longest time.

geri said...

Ed, I love that iPod tip you gave me! Very helpful for us too :) I should check on those apps for Evan.