As a mom I am always aware that my to-do list on any given day is much too extensive to be reasonable and doable, especially when I cast it aside to embrace some of the grandest and best teachable moments ever presenting themselves; I always go to bed feeling ambitious, yet I know how often I overshoot---especially on days when Kate doesn't need to nap.
Yet today is one of those rare days when the universe aligned and when Kate was eager to be interested in Mommy's work, and so I accomplished even more on my wishlist than I expected. I always like to celebrate those days, for they are few and far between!
I usually find it fairly easy to incoporate Kate into whatever I am doing by making a game out of it, or talking with her the whole time. She sits on the counter while I do my hair and make-up and likes to look at all of my bottles and put on lotion, etc. Today I had her help me in the kitchen several times, and she loved it. She helped me make popovers with blackberry jam, sausage, and scrambled eggs for breakfast---I have her do everything she is capable of doing, even when it makes a bit of a spill or mess.
After breakfast we did three loads of laundry (sometimes I hand her the clothes to put in the dryer) and cleaned the upper bathrooms and straightened up the playroom. We took a couple of play-breaks in between, but I also give her her own sponge and scrub brush and sometimes we sing and talk in rhymes.
Then we walked over to my mom's, and we all made scones for tomorrow's breakfast and visited with my dad. Kate helped with the flour and unwrapping the butter.
When I got home, my helpful husband, who was attune to my hopes, sat down and played Play-Doh with Kate while I reviewed some reading on encumbrances and transfers and took a quiz on which I scored a perfect score (they are technically open book, but I pretend they are closed book to hold myself to a higher standard, one to which I will be held for the actual real estate salesperson exam---I want to make sure I am actually learning and that I am keeping track of what I really know). I then started the next (big) section on types of contracts, which is three chapters... I usually read each chapter once, do a practice test, wait a day, read it again once to review and take a quiz. I might try to do the whole contracts section all together, though, and take three quizzes at once. We'll see.
Fortunately I got my reviewing and my quiz done and my next reading done fairly quickly and then Kate and I started dinner.
Dinner was extra fun tonight! We have a book we love from the library called Bee-Bim Bop, the subject of which is a Korean dish...."mix mix rice." Kate and I both adore this book and have read it MANY times. It talks in verse about getting the ingredients and depicts a little girl helping her mommy make this favorite meal. We bought the ingredients at the store the other day. Katie helped me make the marinade for the beef and got to handle green onions and the papery garlic skin as I chopped the cloves. She helped me make rice in our rice pot and put the carrots and spinach in the pans to steam. She loved it. We referenced the book as we were cooking, and she was extremely aware of what we were doing and why (to replicate the book). She loved it and was giggling and smiling. I even used certain bowls ("big bowls striped in blue") to match the bowls used in the book. Right before dinner, I re-read the book to Kate and Bill and when it said, "Mix it!/Mix like crazy!/Time for bee-bim bop!" she squealed in delight and mixed it all up as her daddy did, too. She is such a good little eater in terms of variety. She ate the big wilted spinach leaves and steamed carrots and I cut the strips of beef into chunks. She took a huge delight in the whole dinner, and it was a synthesis activity that links the book to the practical outcome. We had fun!
Our day started off especially sweet, as well. Kate was with us in the bathroom as we were getting ready. Bill said, "I love you, Kate!" And Katie replied, very clearly, "I love my daddy, too." We were just dying over her use of the comma and the "too." We are so so so pleased with her language development. We might never be able to prove it in front of most people right now (because she tends to be as reserved as her parents in most situations), but her verbal skills (and memory skills and directional/spatial skills) are quite stunning. I write down little examples here and there in my gratitude journal. I usually try not to brag too much, other than to her Amie and Nana---I mean, what parent doesn't think his or her child is amazing? And Bill and I come from the school of thought that true talent doesn't need a lot of bragging attached to it. Kate will have ample time to prove what we know she has...As for her, we tell her personally everyday how proud we are of her and how smart we truly think she is, so she knows how we feel and that is the most important thing. In fact, I often joke with Amie that Bill and I (well, maybe not Bill because he is WAAAAAAY smart) are going to be outclassed in the brain department pretty soon!
So we had a great day, one that felt especially productive yet without sacrificing Kate's need for interaction and engagement. I think we're going to step the pace down a little tomorrow, though, and go to the park and the library. Tomorrow will be a day of total fun and outdoor time. Then on Monday she starts a toddler class.
Balance in all things. My wish for my readers and my wish for myself.
Good night, All.