Teagan’s Blue Crayon


Teagan’s Blue Crayon

Originally uploaded by Bud the Teacher

Note – This post was mostly composed months ago; it’s almost a year old. I’m posting it now because I’m in the middle of revisiting lots of drafts of posts. This one seemed done. Not sure why I never published it. – Bud

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Setting the scene: It’s just after dinner tonight, and I am in our play room, a converted office full of kids’ toys, assorted vehicles, and a large table stocked full of art supplies. Teagan’s there, too. In fact, she’s the reason I’m there. She discovered four discarded crayons, a leftover project of Ani’s, under the table. She’s only fourteen months old, but she’s been watching Ani, so she knows what those crayons can do.

She carefully lowers herself to the floor, leaning over to a collection of index cards and Curious George notepad pages, another discarded project. (Man, we really need to clean the play room.) She makes a tentative scribble on an index card, exploring the jagged red line she’s producing, her tongue hanging slightly out of her mouth with the effort. A smile and perhaps a bit of toddler drool appears on her lips as she continues to mark, alternating the crayons in her right hand, pressing each onto the card. I watch her watching herself discovering the way that crayons allow her to make marks on paper, the secret excitement only one fellow writer has for another building in my head and heart. Discovering the act of creation is, at any age, a big deal.

Her favorite, she decides between exchanges and random markings on the card, is the blue crayon, and I am able to sneak the others out of sight and mind before she decides to do any furniture or wall scribbling.

But the blue crayon must stay in her hand. The index card, too.

I tell her it’s time for bed and stand up to leave the room. She rises, too, clutching the blue crayon in one hand, the index card in the other. I watch her waddle her toddler waddle to the stairs and realize that she’s taking her tools with her to bed. And up the stairs, which she’s only beginning to climb on her own. I manage to get her to leave the card with me, motioning to her that she can have the card at the top of the stairs. But the blue crayon stays in her hand for the long climb, me one step behind, as she slowly ascends, reaching out the entire time for the card that I’m waving a few inches past her reach.

Her card returned, we begin the bed time ritual. I try to take her tools away to put on her PJs – but she will have none of that, shrill cries telling me just what she thinks of my idea. Until she realizes that I cannot remove her shirt unless she puts them down. Still, she cries and cries as I remove her clothes and change a diaper, only ceasing when, fresh and clean and pajama-ed, I return her crayon and index card to her still waiting fingers.

A few minutes later, she’s ready for sleep, and I place the card and crayon on her dresser. We say night night to them before going to bed.

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Talk about Melting

My wife sent me the following exchange via e-mail today, a conversation between herself and Ani, who’s three and not quite a half:

A lunchtime conversation:
Ani:  My ice cream is too cold to eat.
Me:  Well, you can wait and let it warm up, but it will melt.
Ani:  I can eat it when it’s melted.
Me:  Yes, but you might have to drink it through a straw.  Ice cream is like Frosty the Snowman — it melts.
Ani:  Chocolate melts.
Me:  Yes.  What else melts?
Ani:  I don’t know.
Me:  Does ice melt?
Ani:  Yes.
Me:  Do strawberries melt?
Ani:  No.
Me:  Do popsicles melt?
Ani:  Yes.
Me:  Do people melt?
Ani (in that of-course-not-you’re-so-silly tone):  No!  (Then matter-of-factly): They die, though.

Smart kid.  Wise, maybe.  Just saying.

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“Your Blog is Great!”

This evening, I was playing with the girls as they fiddled with their “laptops” – gifts from my aunt, who knew I was getting an XO for Christmas and didn’t want them to feel left out.

As I stood up to return to the dishes, Ani’s laptop spoke. “Your blog is great!” it told her in a faux-excited voice. I laughed.

Not yet, I thought. But one day.

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Learning to Change. Changing to Learn

UPDATE (5/21/08): It seems that this video, certainly a controversial one, has been pulled from publication.  Chris Lehmann wrote a much better post than I did on the subject.  If you haven’t already, you should read it, and dig deep into his comments. If you know why the video’s disappearing around the ‘net, I’d love to know what you know.

Thanks to John Creighton for the link to this video. It’s well worth the six and a half minutes of your time if you haven’t already seen it.

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Big Girl Bed is a Big Girl Deal

    I expected that tonight would be a night of constant interruption as Ani explored the boundaries of her new "big girl bed."  Boy was I wrong.
    While she was quite excited by the sight of the green and purple doll house, it was a one-story night, as she was eager to "go to bed (in her big girl bed)."  She went right to sleep, and all is peaceful.
    Funny how often our expectations are challenged, both as parents and as educators, isn’t it?

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About to be a Big Girl

    Sometimes my online life and my offline one seem to blur together a little bit — and I forget to tell one group things that I’ve told the other — and vice versa.  This became clear to me yesterday when I was having a chat and mentioned that we were preparing Ani to move to a "big girl bed" in order to free up her crib for her soon to be born sister.
    The thing is, I hadn’t mentioned that we were expecting.  So I’m mentioning it. 
    Ani’s going to be a big sister on or around graduation day in late May of this year.   Pretty cool, huh?
    As I’m writing this, Ani is sleeping for (her mother and I hope) the last time in a crib.  Her new bed arrives tomorrow, and we begin the process of sleeping in a bed.  Cross your fingers for us, okay?  It’s certainly not a big deal, but it’ll add a little stress and excitement to our lives.
    I hope it goes well.  I’m a little sad, though, as my little girl’s already beginning to outgrow pieces of her world.   Man,  it’s all happening so fast.
    In fact, soon, she won’t be my little girl anymore.  That title, like the crib, will soon pass to her sister. 

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Never Too Young


  Good Job, Ani. 
  Originally uploaded by Bud the Teacher.

  It’s never too early to get your children helping out around the house.  After our twenty or so inches of snowfall — more if you count the massive drifts throughout our neighborhood — we sent Ani, almost two, out with her shovel to get the driveway done.  It only took six hours and two diaper changes.
  (I’m kidding, obviously.  But it was quite a day for snow removal here.  Here’s a link to our "Holiday Blizzard 2006" photos.  Isn’t it great that, thanks to television, every major weather event has a cool-sounding name now?)

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