Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Our Time

Dear Elizabeth,

Today you went to your first class ever, Kindermusik: Our Time. It is a class for 1 1/2 to 3 year olds, and you are one week away from your 18-month birthday.

I think you may have been the youngest one there, because many of the kids could talk in sentences and they clearly understood what the teacher was saying. It was completely new for you, and, despite your rampant curiousity and non-stop roaming about the room, you did wonderfully.

Granted, the whole experience was much more structured than you are used to. You spent most of the class exploring the folding chairs and watching (if you can call it that) from the sidelines, while everyone else was sitting in a (sortof) circle on the floor.

Melissa, our teacher, led simple songs and movement (like swaying, singing, and tapping the floor). You were much more interested in what was actually on the floor, like other peoples' shoes. You even brought me a couple of different pairs to put on your feet. They weren't yours, and they were way too big for you.

At one point you played with another lady's keys. The lady looked worried that you would lose them. I asked you nicely to give them to me, and you did. When I returned them to the lady, I told her sorry, and she smiled at me.

You also threw down one of the bells that Melissa gave to you to shake and play with. Yes, it made a great big noise. And it was okay. Luckily these were all mommies who understand your gregarious, 18-month-old curiosity.

You made mommy very proud when Melissa played a quiet song and you let me hold you like the other mommies gently holding their own girls. (amazingly, there were no boys in this class.) You also knew how to "dust" off the chairs and "clean" the room with the dustcloth that Melissa handed out to everyone.

The most amazing thing that you did during class was that you sat still and paid attention to the entire book that Melissa showed the class. You thought the blanket she laid out was soft, and at one point you even laid down on it to test its coziness. Melissa showed everyone pictures in the storybook and you looked at many of the pages from your spot on the blanket.

Pretty soon you will be riveted by many stories and songs, not just by pictures, shoes, and other peoples' keys (although clearly those are interesting too).

By the end of class you had demonstrated an interest in what was happening and even joined in storytime and the goodbye song. I'd say that's pretty wonderful for a 45-minute class, an eternity for you.

My little Lizzie, you are learning so much everyday, and I am so very proud of you. You are extremely bright and are always thinking and processing information. You can only say a few words, but I know that you thoroughly enjoyed your first class today. I could tell because afterwards you were worn out and tired from the excitement. Even when AJ and P came over to visit after class, you weren't your normal boundless self. You were ready for your nap. (Don't worry, they understood. Learning is tiring work!)

You are about to embark on an amazing discovery: linguistic, cognitive, and social development...well, that's many discoveries. Yes, you've still got a lot to learn. And mommy is here with you every step of the way.

Me quitting my job and staying home with you is the crux of what "Our Time" means. And I am positively thrilled at the prospect of watching you grow up. (not too quickly though, ok?)

Right now you are in this wonderful transition period between baby and toddler: that is, sometimes you are still a little babylike--where you explore things by putting them into your mouth, garble "words," and exist in your own world sometimes--and other times you show older, more toddlerlike behavior--where you try to communicate with words and affectionate gestures (you are truly an amazing hugger), you follow simple directions and participate in adult-led activites, and sometimes you can even eat snack from a bowl without spilling anything.

Today, by playing and learning with the "big girls," you took a big step towards toddlerhood.

And I am so very proud of you.


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MrsWndr said...

That is very sweet and I think when she's older, Elizabeth will love to read that. I wish I had taken my daughter to classes like that, got her used to other kids earlier. Maybe if we ever have another. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Belle-ah said...

What a perfect day! I did Kindermusik with my boys and they loved it (so did I, as a matter of fact!). You are such a good MOM.