Saturday, June 19, 2010

How big is Sophie?

As Sophie gets a little older and more able to focus her attention on one thing at a time (but only barely...), we've developed quite a regular book-reading routine. In the day, after lunch and before her afternoon nap, we spend about an hour going through the books I brought with us from home and the books we've taken out from the Santa Clara library. Often, Sophie just enjoys the autonomy of flipping the pages herself but sometimes, she seems to really be listening to my voice as I read to her. And then before bed, as I put her shoes and brace on (which is always an involved process), Jude sits her on his lap and goes through another stack of books we have by our bedside. These are books we know for sure she likes and that hold her attention so she won't get antsy and squirmy as I work on her brace. In particular, she's developed quite an affection for So Big!, a Sesame Street book my friend Julie got for me for my books baby shower. It wasn't a book I thought very much off initially (all those years of working with Sesame Street videos has made me a little averse to all things Elmo...) and I kept trying to read my beloved Eric Carle books to her. But our dear daughter already has a mind of her own and keeps going back to Elmo (she squawks until she gets what she wants); in particular, she likes it when I build up the suspense to the last page when Elmo pops up with his arms stretched across two pages- "Sooooo big!" Sometimes, she gets impatient when Jude reads the front matter and will grab the book from him and finger it to the last page all by herself just to see Elmo pop out. Which of course means that I've already had to mend the pop-up once because she loved it so much, she ripped it off the pages...

On top of that-- talk about a happy coincidence-- her wonderful nanny at daycare, Doris, has also been working with Sophie on raising her hands every time she asks, "How big is Sophie?" I didn't think Sophie would play along- I didn't think she was ready. I was so wrong.

(And her starring at the ceiling fan every morning over breakfast has clearly left its own indelible mark...)

So there-- Moms and Dads-- don't underestimate the power of books, or of consistent reinforcement. It's potent stuff. And never underestimate your baby- they're waaaaay smarter than you think.


Dooks said...

Thank you very, very much for that, Serene! It's a joy to see Sophie grow......!

serene said...

You're most welcome! I love seeing Poppy's pictures too! She's such a cutie!