Monday, October 29, 2007

More Fun

On further consideration, there are of course other activities that Charlie enjoys besides stories and fantasy play. His third favorite activity, for instance, seems to be tracking the coming of winter. It was quite cold this morning, so I put a fleece hat on him before taking him over to play with Jonas. He was ecstatic. "This is a snow hat!" he informed me. "Where's the snow? Is the snow coming? Merry Christmas! Can we go get our tree now?"

He also loves things that flow, such as blue paint, Charlie Parker, and especially water. He often takes two long baths in a day, painting the sides of the tub surround with a little paint roller and singing a little riff to himself. "I'm the boatman. I'm the boooooooooooat... MAN!"

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Play's The Thing

We went to the monthly coffeehouse at the Waldorf school the other day. I bought Charlie a cute little wooden puzzle of cars and trains. He's not much of one for puzzles (unlike his friend Jonas, who lives for the fit between this and that) but I thought this one would capture his interest. And it did... he took all the pieces out, gave them names, and acted out stories with his new cast of characters. Over hours of play they never did make it back into the puzzle frame. "Put pieces together to make a whole? Can't you pay someone to do that?" seems to be his attitude.

It was typical of Charlie's play. The child lives in narrative. His very favorite thing to do in the world is read books. His second favorite thing to do is to take the characters from books and cartoons, or to make them up whole cloth, and create his own stories. There is no third. In the bath he narrates conflict between the fire truck and the bubbles. At the dinner table his hands turn into birds and lay eggs in the "nest" of mashed potatoes. In the car seat the two edges of his belt buckle have an argument with each other about whether they should stay locked together. He doesn't like being presented with "facts" head-on, but turn it into a story and he can get enthusiastic about anything. I love it. And I'm so looking forward to the years of fantasy and exploration through narrative together.

(And perhaps eventually he'll warm up to puzzles!)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

City Day

Yesterday we took Charlie's nanny to Halifax for a doctor's appointment, which turned into a 5 hour testing session. As a result we had a lovely spontaneous city day. Charlie chased pigeons all around the Commons, watched some fancy tricks at the skateboard park, and threw coins into the fountain for good luck. We also visited a fantastic new store, Uncommon Kids Gear. Their buyer has wonderful taste--(ie my taste!)

They had Charlie's dollhouse, Charlie's rocking horse, Charlie's favourite monkey plate... all items I coerced poor grandma to ship to us from the States! I bought a Plan Toys vegetable garden for the dollhouse, a Curious George Christmas book, and an abacus. They had a supercool toy I'd never seen before called a bilibo that I already regret not buying. Between them and Lagoon Nova Scotia may actually be joining the 21st century.

As a crazy bonus, the attached coffeshop was possibly the best I've been to in Canada, and immensely child friendly. I think we have a new favorite spot. Who wants to meet us there?

Su Doku es Mi Doku

Charlie's not shy about letting me know when he wants attention. His latest trick is to claim ownership over any article that competes for my interest. "That's not your newspaper... that's my newspaper! That's not your broom... that's my broom! That's not your 'doku... that's my 'doku!" Then he grabs it and runs around, yelling "Charlie's 'doku! Charlie's 'doku!"

But hey, there's an upside to every annoying toddler behavior. After I start filing paperwork with the provincial department of education, this will be creatively classified as "math".

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Rink Rites

The skates were a huge hit. The skating itself, a bit of a bust. We inched out onto the ice, a parent on either side. The three of us shuffled forward for about forty-five seconds before Charlie was ready to call it quits. "It's too slippery," he proclaimed, as if he were just a little bit disappointed in us for our lack of judgement. He wore his skates in the stroller home, though, and asked for a book about skating the minute we walked through the door.

So perhaps next week, or perhaps next year. It's lovely to live without expectation, when we can manage it. We test the waters--frozen as they might be--together.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Art of the Word


Thanks to Snapshirt for this "word cloud" generated from the text of the blog! (And thanks to Still Snarky for the link.)