I would say one of the hardest things about being a parent to more than one kid is the need to remember that your third kid needs just as much of your time, energy, attention, and patience as your first one (or second, or third…). Because there are so many people around to entertain her–her days spent with me, afternoons with brother and sister or friends, bedtime with Em–she isn’t the best at playing independently, but she’ll get there. Her constant need for attention sometimes has the undesired effect of me just throwing up my hands and saying, “Can’t you just go play!?” instead of encouraging me to dream up some fun activity for the two of us. I have been working on renewing my teaching credential–a process which has kept the blog low on my totem pole of priorities–so I have been even busier than usual, fielding emails and requesting transcripts during time that I used to spend perusing Pinterest for fun literacy activities like I did for Jax or Em (cue the Mommy guilt). I could have just as easily spent this morning encouraging Little H to keep herself occupied, but with the recognition that both she and my blog were being grossly neglected, I pulled out an old favorite to meet the ever-increasing needs of my very bright three-year-old.
I have come up with many upcycling uses for last week’s plastic Easter eggs that help my kids with various needs–spelling, counting, rhyming. Little H already knows her letters, upper case and lower case, but I thought this would be a good exercise in letter sounds. First I wrote all the upper case and lower case letters on egg halves, like so, and spread them all over our front deck. Hooray for a warm spring day!
Then she and I hung out, matching letters, matching colors, talking and smiling. Since she does already know her letters, we focused on the sounds they make. She would find a letter, I’d point out what color it is so she could find the match, then we should brought it to me she’d tell me what sound the letter makes.
For a three-year-old, she’s one smart cookie, my H.
Last kids deserve all the love and enrichment and attention as the first ones. I’m lucky enough to be home with her, and I need to make every day matter, in big ways or small.
It’s good for both of us.