Sunday, April 18, 2010

Time after time

These days, it's not uncommon to find Stella standing at the door to the basement, furiously signing the symbols for "baby," "time" and "more" in rapid succession. It's pretty amazing that Stella has picked up such a wide array for sign language symbols in such a quick period of time (she probably knows well over a dozen now, with "leaf" and "tree" being new just in the last day or so), but the less fortunate side effect is that she spends a lot of time begging to watch Baby Signing Time.

But, that's not the only time she is obsessed with these days, she also loves...

Toddler Time!

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10am until sometime in the early afternoon, the nearby Jefferson Community Center host a Toddler Play Time. Basically, for $2 a baby, its an unlimited playtime in their gymnasium filled with toys. Like this...

Look at all those toys, but...

...this is easily Stella's favorite toy. She would probably be happy to sit in this car the whole time. Or, preferably, have me push her around the whole time... Ow, my back!

Stella and I tend to get there a little early (actually, usually around 9:45) because A) her nap time usually falls around 11:30 and we want to make sure she gets plenty of time to play, and B) I've discovered that Stella tends to take a little time to warm up to changes, and giving her a little time to play on her own before the other toddlers start to arrive helps her be more ready for the chaos that soon arrives.

The other toddlers descend! Usually there's only a dozen or so other kids, but sometimes a Day Care brings a group of another 20 or so... it's pretty out of control those days.

It's also been nice for me too, because it allows us to get out of the house on a rainy day and not go too stir-crazy. Also, now that we've gone for a couple of weeks, I've started to meet some of the other parents there, and it's nice to get a feel for some of the other families living on Beacon Hill.

But, yeah, for Stella, Toddler Time = Good Time. Between that and the Baby Signing Time videos, Sarah and I have learned that T.I.M.E. is one of those words we need to spell to each other, instead of say.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Arts and Letters

Earlier this week, I was talking to a friend about her son's child care, and one of the advantages she mentioned was that they did things that she wouldn't do at home, like crafts. Having not experimented too much with the arts at home to date, I decided to give it a go this Friday. Project #1: finger painting. Given Stella's recent interest in stirring things together (and ability to not put everything in sight in her mouth), I thought she would enjoy it. It might be messy, but fun.

Stella did enjoy it quite a bit, but she was much more interested in using the wooden stir stick as a paintbrush than with getting her hands too messy. (Messy fingers tended to result in Jackson Pollock-like spatters as she tried to shake it off.) And it wasn't even too messy. I got her down to her diapers, wore old workout clothes, and set us up in the kitchen on her usual splat mat. I transferred her straight from painting to tub, and it wasn't any messier than your average meal.

Stella as artiste, surrounded by her masterpieces

She's also been really into drawing lately, though we have to spend a lot of time reminding her that the crayons are only for paper. Not the tiles. Not the walls. Not the cabinets. Not her mouth.

I always imagine this makes Tyler quite happy! Not only is she drawing, but she seems to prefer the orange crayon we have.

In addition to her artsy forays, Stella's shown quite the interest in the written word this week as well:

This week Stella's been obsessed with Tyler's great-uncle's portable typewriter. He was a reporter, and this was probably the cutting edge technology at the time. It's clear that Stella's been watching us on our computers; she'll move her fingers rapidly over the keys as if she's speedily typing away!

Reading isn't so new, but sitting on the couch with a magazine, casually flipping through the pages, just seemed so adult. I remember the days when we gave her these magazines to destroy not so many months ago!