Thursday, May 29, 2014

Preschool "Graduation"

Eli's preschool had an end of the year celebration; and it was very cute/sweet.  But - is it really "graduating" if he's repeating the class? Ha!

Eli will repeat the same class next year, since he's too young for our state's pre-k.  The ceremony it self was really cute and quirky...which, I'm sure you can imagine is generally the case for a three year old class. Academically, he's ready for much more than pre-k; we probably could get a waiver for early entry. BUT we really don't want to rush him. Whether Eli would benefit academically or not, I want him to truly enjoy being a kid. A kid who paints, listens to stories, and plays outside. His version of playing is a little different than most kids his age, but the freedom of childhood, IMHO is nothing to be rushed. There will be plenty of time for Eli to feel the pressure/stress of studying and school. While Patrick and I DO let him explore academics as part of his normal playtime, we're letting him lead the way into what he wants to know. We have been using several Montessori activities with him, though he often chooses to do other "stuff." Right now, we are also encouraging him to explore, play in the dirt, and to use his imagination. Mostly, at least this week, he's been interested in caring for his plants, cooking, visiting the hardware store (he likes to look at and learn about tools), and learning to read directions/recipes.

So, it will be fun to see him"graduate" again next year.  I can't believe how much he is thriving in the new school, and this change was definitely a great one. His teachers are very supportive and accommodating. Still, it's funny to see his work coming home. One day, the children were learning about shapes and gluing foam shapes to a piece of construction paper. Eli's work came home, and I of course, remarked how wonderful it was ( as all parents do with preschool art). Eli looked at me, puzzled, and said " but you have it upside down!". I turned it  over, only to realize that he had glued his shapes in such a way as to make the number  50.  This definitely cracked me up...and might very well go on my classroom wall next year!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Do Cows Like Bananas?

Eli asks questions without ceasing...I find myself answering his questions even in my dreams.  Most of his questions start with "why" or "how". He wants to know what everything is, how it works, how to put it together, why it has a certain name, etc. Some of his questions make sense...and some of them I've had to google to the answers to (what kind of bug is that?).

Some of his questions are really difficult....when his great grandmother passed away recently, Eli asked me if he was going to die one day, too.  He's also asking why Jesus was nailed a cross and how people could be so mean to Jesus....or to each other.

On the other hand, some of his questions are hysterically funny.  Why don't cats like vegetables?  (Because they are carnivores...too many veggies make them puke). Why don't horses use the bathrooms inside? (Because they don't have thumbs to flush the potty). Why is Jabba the Hut so weird looking? Ok....the Jabba the Hut one is a valid question....but only from people who think a lot of Star Wars characters look weird.

I was really tired today, so I turned the tables on our young questioner....and I asked him (out of the clear blue) "Do cows like to eat bananas?"  I thought he would giggle, laugh, say "I don't know" or something like that.

However, there was a brief moment of quiet as Eli thought very carefully about his answer. And then I realized how carefully he truly listens to our responses.

He replied, "Well, what we need to do is to get a banana. Then, we need to drive to a farm-one that has cows. We can ask the farmer if we can talk to his cows, and we will give them a banana. If they eat it, then we can say that cows eat bananas! If they don't eat it, the cows don't like bananas!"

I guess I can safely say that Eli is a (little) man with a plan.

Eli and TV

Eli is definitely at an age where he really enjoys certain TV shows...from Dr. Who to Dr. Oz to the Little Couple (which he calls "Zoey and Will") and a few cartoons (mostly on Saturday). Until yesterday, he loved all cooking shows, too. I never, never expected him to be frightened/upset by a cooking show - especially since he's apparently unfazed by the "bad guys" on Dr. Who (and trust me, some of those bad guys are pretty intense).

It all boils down to this: Eli pretty much knows when actors are "pretending" versus when someone on TV is doing something real (like cooking).

And when chefs begin to prepare (live) crab, it gets pretty upsetting for him.

We were quietly relaxing while Eli was alternately playing and watching a cooking competition on TV with us. Live crab was announced as an ingredient in the competition. Eli looked at the TV, and said, "Aww....crabs...look, they're cute!  and cool!.  What's he doing?'t put him in the OVEN....NO!!!  Don't take his legs off....NONONO..."

We quickly changed the channel, but he's still very, very upset about the crabs. He says he will never eat crabs again (even though he enjoyed them previously), and I believe him. Poor guy...

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Faith of a Child

Eli's Great-Grandma (Nita) passed away this week - she was almost 92, and very, very sweet.  I was really worried about how Eli would handle her death, as it is the first one he's experienced. I wondered how much he would understand, if anything. The day before her funeral, Patrick and I explained to him that she had died and what that means to us; then, we braced ourselves for questions. While he has had a few questions (some of which surprised even me), they seem to come up occasionally rather than all at once. He has been surprisingly quiet about the subject, which is very out-of-character. However, this morning, we were riding along to Eli's school, listening to a CD quietly play an a capella version of "Just a Little Talk with Jesus." 

Suddenly, Eli sat bolt upright and said, "Hey!! That's just like Great-Grandma!!"
I was confused, "What?"
Eli happily replied, "Great-Grandma gets to talk to Jesus now, just like in the song. She lives with Jesus in Heaven now, 'member?"

I have heard the Bible verses and preachers that talk about the "faith of a child," but when he said this, with the unwavering conviction that only a very innocent child possesses, it brought tears to my eyes. I know that he doesn't truly understand all of what has happened, but as long as what he does know brings him peace, then it's enough.