Friday, January 05, 2007

All About Bearcub

The youngest member of our little homeschool is rarely mentioned. However, her presence at home and in our lives demands that her exploits and activities get a little screen time too.

At 20-months, Bearcub can no-longer be considered the baby (though that's what we still call her). She is busy from the moment she wakes. In temperament she is easy going, good natured and friendly. She is strong willed, tenacious and stubborn. The decibles of her joy are matched only by the decibles of her tantrums. In the mornings she is the first to open her eyes and then wakes me with kisses. All friends receive hugs, strangers loud shouts of hello.

Whereas Nightowl's mantra might be "I think." the Bearcub's is surely: "I do." My little one is a master of dexterity, manipulation and physical activity. Few locks, doors, or latches confound her for long. If someone in the family is busy at a task or activity, then surely she should be able to as well - preferrably loudly and with gusto. Initially content to ride along in the wake of our activities, the Bearcub has emerged as a force to be reckonned with.

Case in point: the piano. Whereas Nightowl never noticed the piano until age five, Bearcub has been aching for a chance since she could crawl. She can now successfully open the instrument, select a music book, climb onto the bench, place her music, turn on the metronome, sit down and belt out a tune. No matter that she cannot read music, she turns the pages every few minutes just the same. And she plays, plays, plays as long as she can. The longing I see in her eyes now is for the violins - kept high out of reach. She hums along to every song that Nightowl and I play. Indeed, Bearcub knows the entire rep.

Similarly, Bearcub uses her own chalkboard for writing and drawing and her own materials for painting. Her exploits into the fiber arts are confounding explosions of knots and piles. Her love of books and being read to matches that of the rest of us. She loves puzzles and pieces and biking and swinging. She launches herself into every activity, shows little hesitancy in exploring new places and situations and displays a shocking lack of caution in most areas. If she falls or is somehow thwarted? No problem, she's up and mastering the feat - beit scaling the bookshelves, pushing the tire swing, or puzzling apart the newest toddler lock.

Aside from these many activities, what Bearcub likes most is to help. She enjoys helping to fold the laundry, empty the dishwasher, feed the cats, set the table and pick up the toys. Either from example or intrinsic nature, Bearcub is turning out to be pretty tidy. She sings the "toys away" song with joy.

Her newest and most favorite helping activity is vaccuming. Previously, Bearcub has eyed the vaccum with trepidation and fear: It's loud, it's clunky, it's takes Mom's focus. But over the past few months she's been taking cautious steps: a willingness to be in the same room with the ghastly thing, tip-toeing past it, sneaking over to push the power button. And then today, the unthinkable: a request to do it herself. So, I lowered the handle and passed it over. Oh joy! Oh rapture! Forty minutes later she was still involved: Vaccum. Turn off the power. Turn on the power. Vaccum. Turn off the power....

When lunch was on the table I had to step in and bring the activity to an end. "No, Mama," she cried. "More vaccum!" she signed. But I insisted. Oh, the wailing that ensued - complete with a full body drop to the floor, and the beating of fists and feet. Call CPS because I won't let the child vaccum any longer - it's time for lunch and a nap.

True to her nature the hysterics passed quickly. Now it's lunch time. Time to scale the chair, wash the hands, insist on an open cup. Time to eat heartily and messily and after, exhausted from the effort, enter sleep quickly and deeply and then wake, refreshed, for more.


Anonymous said...

Stumbled in here during a late night serial lurk session, your homeschooling style is beautiful, I enjoyed my visit :0)

Aleisha said...

Thanks so much! Please visit anytime.

MamaK said...

wow, what a wonderful post! Sweet little Bearcub, how neat to go along on your adventures!

I just found your blog (i'm not even sure exactly how, just linking along from other blogs tonight) and I have already added you to my fav's. Thanks for a wonderful night of reading and learning about your homeschool.

Best wishes!

Aleisha said...

Hi Kara, Nice to meet you. I'll check out your site as well!