Laziness…um, I mean…Repetition pays off

I was quite surprised today when my almost-15-months old showed evidence of knowing his colors.  After shock and pleasure, my first thought was “OMG, has my parental laziness paid off?”

{Spoiler Alert: you are about to see evidence of some of my closet- “hippy”ness}

Now, I do know that experts say repetition is very important for children.  I even remember finding a tidbit doing research for a presentation on supporting early literacy  that it takes being exposed to a word 12 times to be able to contextually determine its meaning (which is why it is so important to talk to our children using real vocabulary & read them lots of different stuff…) (if I am feeling more “overachiever” later, I will try to find the reference for that tidbit).  It would be nice to claim this planned repetition of 3 particular “color” books* was finally reaping its reward, but that would be a gross misrepresentation.  It was mostly parental laziness….

Let me explain: Bl is a second child. (No, that is not the whole explanation :)  )  With Br (the 1st child), I made sure to provide lots of exposure to different books, and we read each night until he asked** to go to bed (**preverbally, usually by getting fussy and/or signing “nurse”). By necessity with 2 kids, Bl’s bedtime routine is much more truncated.  Bl gets only one book most nights, and the selection is from the small residual pile leftover from when I could occasionally sucker Br into letting Mommy have a little more horizontal time in the morning by reading to him in my bed.  Because of Br’s “broad literary experience”, most of the books next to the bed where way too advanced for a baby, so it was even a small subset of that pile that I would let Bl pick from.  There were probably 3-4 books to start.  Probably that many again have wandered in, or were brought in by Mommy when I remembered to feel guilty about reading him the same books over and over again…. So Bl has read all of these books A LOT.

*For the curious, the 3 “color” books were: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?  by Bill Martin, Jr. & Eric Carle; Blue Hat, Green Hat  by Sandra Boynton; I Like to Learn Colors: Curious Penguin  by Alex Lluch

Now to the bragging (& more overtly hippy part): Bl has an amber necklace (yep, hippy…or so my husband says :)..but it’s supposed to help with teething… and it’s cute…), which we take off at night and place on the bedside table.  (I may be a closet hippy, but I still worry about safety!) Many times in the morning Bl will spot it, pick it up and play with it, and give it to me to put on him (see Daddy- he likes it!).  This morning, he picked it up, brought it close to his leg, said something that approximated “orange”, pointed the the necklace, and then pointed to the orange car on his pajamas! After that, he said something that approximated “green” and pointed to the green truck on his pajamas!

I yelled for my husband, so I could brag on my child.  Of course the husband ruined it by opening a book and asking Blake to “show me blue!”.  Had to remind husband that recognition is easier than recall, and, he’s not quite 15 month sold!

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