Temima is turning five years old on Monday, and we've got her birthday party planned for this Sunday. She is so amazing! And so fustrating, sometimes! But... thats childhood. Or maybe, human-hood... since I'm also fustrating sometimes. Just ask my sister. I drive her absolutely crazy with all the things I'm supposed to do but forget, or tell her to do or not do but forget I ever said. Not to mention my trouble answering the phone, or returning messages, or basically doing anything in a timely fashion. She loves me.
So, anyhow, I've been a busy beaver. I like to make a birthday outfit for each kid each year... this year Temima got two. I started the first one, with fabric I really loved, when Temima walked over and told me how much she didn't like for a summer dress (she agreed it would be a great 'holiday' dress though, for the Jewish holidays). She didn't seem to mind at all, and went on to tell me how she would wear her birthday dress from two years ago. It still fits her, since I made it two sizes two big accidentally. I went into an internal panic, because I love making her dresses and I really wanted to show something new off! So, we ran off to Fabricland to fetch some pink thread to finish up the first dress. Temima was following me around and pointing out every single shiny pink fabric she could see. Shua followed, lugging a bag of sand toys we had brought with us. Upon arrival at the clearance table, he promptly dumped all those sand toys out. I browsed, and what did I find?? A whole array of designer fabrics, including one by Amy Butler that I really loved! I have never seen designer fabrics like this at Fabricland before. Well, the clearance price wasn't as great as the regular prices online... but without the wait for shipping it was definitely worth it. Now I've sewn up the second dress, and I think its really pretty. I haven't photographed it yet, but I'm sure I'll post photos from the party.
Today we had what Temima calls a 'lazy day.' That means that we stayed in our PJ's, ate breakfast cereal all day long, made marshmallow squares, and watched TV. We also spent the day getting our party ready! Temima popped in and out as I worked, helping me sporadically, which was fun. Shua was great too. I sewed some little paper notebooks, we melted broken crayons into multicolored crayons, I put together little craft kits, sewed bags to hold it all, and cut out hang tags. I'm still torn on whether or not to include a baked treat... I think kids love a treat in their loot bags, but parents also aren't so keen on more treats in one day. I most of all love that its all made from things we already had here, and its all handmade, and the kids helped me.
Temima attempted to copy the "Thank You" I demo'd for her... but quickly gave up. Then I wrote it out in pen on each one, and she traced over with marker, and she enjoyed that more. How's that for homeschooling?
Temima is learning about reading/writing at her own pace. I see periods of intense adding of bits and pieces of how it works, and also periods of just sitting with the understanding she's gleaned already. The last few days she's been sort of pretending to sound out words. She'll say a word and then draw out the syllables to hear the sounds, and then repeat one of the sounds a few times... but never associates a letter with it. Think she's picked up on Jennifer's method of ignoring letter names and calling them by sounds? I can't remember if she's posted about that though. Once in a while I sound out a word that we're reading in a book... not enough to get annoying for her, and not with any commentary. Mostly just so she can see that there is such a thing as letters and sounds associated with each other. Her process of learning is lovely to observe. I love how its just innately there! I don't have to do anything special and she just learns!
In other news, over the past few days I've noticed Shua changing... in that two year old sort of way. We call it the "terrible twos," but with one round of it under my belt already, and a whole lot of unschooling mindset going on, I'm seeing it in a whole new light. Yes, he's more easily frustrated, and prone to tantrums, and does the opposite of whatever I tell him. But I also notice a change in his level of language comprehension which has just flabbergasted me at its suddenness. He's been speaking in 'sentences' for a while now. Last week though, when Temima said that he was a 'baby,' Shua strongly disagreed and replied, "I no baby!" He put some real emotion into that statement, too. And then at a park, he fell in a puddle when I wasn't looking, and when I asked if the puddle had jumped on him (a la The Mud Puddle by Robert Munsch), he said no. When I asked him if he had jumped in the mud puddle, he said yes. Previously, as far as I could tell, he was figuring out meanings based on the major important words of a sentence. He would latch onto the words 'mud,' 'puddle,' 'jump,' and agree with what I said. Now he's grasping a deeper level of meaning, the smaller words, possession, causation, etc. It's all very exciting for me. And it puts all of the other difficult behaviours into a new light. And it is terribly cute when he has a tantrum by running to his room and lying face down on his bed to cry.
Next I need to work on the decorations - more sewing. And hem her dress. And clean house, because it looks like rain is going to spoil our park plans for Sunday.