I love watching him learn

This little boy my husband and I are fostering is learning SO MUCH. It’s like his brain is full of little Christmas lights and every day we get to see more of them light up.

The other day I started sneezing…

Me: Achoo!
DC: (with a wondering look in his eyes) Hoo?
Me: ACHOO!
DC: (with more confidence) A-Hoo.
Me: ACHOO! ACHOO!
DC: A-KUU! A-KUU!  And he walked around for several minutes repeating A-KUU as hubby and I laughed.

He has a toy that sings. One of the songs is “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and when it plays I have always clapped my hands when the song tells me to. Now when it comes on he starts clapping his hands right away. Another song it sings is “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” and while he is nowhere near coordinated enough to make the spider motions, he is used to seeing me do them and he immediately starts to try.

He and hubby have a game they play in the evenings that I call “in and out”. Hubby takes apart a chain of plastic rings, and sets up some containers. Then he starts putting the rings in the containers one at a time. DC comes over and joins him. Hubby puts in a ring, DC puts in a ring. Hubby puts in a ring, DC puts in a ring. When the rings are all in continers, they laugh and clap and proceed to take them out – hubby takes one out, DC takes one out, hubby takes one out, DC takes one out. And they repeat. (This is apparantly a males-only game. When I try to interest DC in it, I get covered by a shower of plastic rings that he throws out of the container by the handful.)

He had an assessment the other day. It was really cool watching a child development expert assess what DC knew how to do. When the Early Childhood people asked me if DC would pick up a string with his thumb and forefinger, I plopped a string in front of DC and watched him pick it up. When this assessor wanted to know the same thing, he got out a multicolored pull toy, and dangled the string to it in front of DC, swinging it slowly back and forth like a metronome until DC, fascinated, extended his hand and grasped it with his forefinger and thumb.

I have never taught a baby sign language before, although I’m familiar with it. DC doesn’t say any words yet, so baby sign language is helping a TON. I’m surprised at how well I’m remembering it, and how quickly he’s picking it up. “Milk” and “more” are the ones he uses most often, although “food” and “all done” get shown a decent amount too. He learns so quickly!

Parenting is using such different parts of my brain than anything else I’ve ever done. It’s rewarding, and frustrating, and enjoyable, and exhausting. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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