Monday, June 1, 2009

The Power of Words

I don't know why, but yesterday I was thinking about a conversation I had with Olivia when I was pregnant with Jesse. Olivia (then 3 years old) asked how the baby ate. I explained that when I ate, my body turned the food into nutrients for the baby and sent it to him through something called the umbilical cord. I told her that before she was born, she had an umbilical cord where her belly button now is, and her little brother or sister would have a belly button, too. Several weeks later we were having cookies after she had been “helping Daddy” with his power tools. She said “I’m having cookies. You’re having cookies. The baby’s having cookies." I replied "Well, kinda." Olivia promptly told me "The baby’s having cookies through the electrical cord!”

Okay, she didn't get the word right that time, but her vocabulary is impressive. We have some alphabet books that start something like "A is for apple, B is for ball, C is for cat." One night Olivia was telling her daddy "A is for anaconda, B is for badminton." I think there was another word further down the alphabet, but I can't remember what it was.

Yesterday Olivia was showing her Aunt Julie some tub toys. One was a turtle. She told Julie that at first she thought it was a box turtle, but then she saw the flippers on each side and decided it must be a sea turtle. Another, as she informed Julie, was a bottlenose dolphin.

Kids really do soak things up like sponges. For the last year and a half we've been taking a weekly trip to the library, where Olivia will check out 8 to 12 books. (She's also been watching videos on the National Geographic website.) I don't think it's possible to read too many books. My husband and I both love to read, although we don't get to indulge in as many books as we'd like. I don't know whether the obsession is hereditary or acquired. (My parents and hubby's parents all enjoy reading.) I took this picture of Olivia in February. She was supposed to be taking a nap and, when I went to check on her, this is what I found.

Here's Olivia in January of 2007 and Jesse in March of this year. It looks like he's gonna be a bookworm, too! A library is a wonderful place for a child. So many books are within those walls and the library is constantly getting new ones. You can also get books through their interlibrary loan program. One of the best gifts you can give a child is a love of reading (and a library card!)

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