In addition to body growth, his brain has really been expanding, too. I think school probably has a lot to do with it! One big change I've noticed is that he is very into imaginative play. He likes to have all of his toys talk to him, and he concocts elaborate scenarios which must be played out Just So. Any deviation is very frowned upon. Some games must be played over and over. Here are some current favorites.
Underground Mousie: Zane hides under a blanket along with my right hand which is the Good Wolf. My left hand is the Bad Wolf, and the rest of me is Mousie's pet dragon who has to sleep outside the underground cave. Bad Wolf comes howling and growling to eat Mousie and Good Wolf. Mousie directs the dragon to breathe fire on Bad Wolf, who runs away howling. Repeat.
Angry Frogs: Little rubbery frogs Blue, Yellow, Green and Red hide camouflaged on appropriate parts of the Fischer Price town. Purple is angry that he has no purple to hide on. Purple recruits big blue sparkly bean bag frog to ride into town and try to find the camouflaged frogs. They can't find them. Camouflaged frogs attack.
Rocket to the moon: Michael and Zane do this at bedtime, and I only hear a bit through the monitor. Involves mice, a crocodile, and some others who go to the moon and get red and blue cheese to bring back to earth. Lots of countdowns, blast offs, and re-entry adventure.
Speaking of bedtime -- Zane has been dry in the morning on most days. He wakes up and asks for help if he needs to pee. He was adamant that he was wearing pull-ups and not diapers at night, and he was anxious to wear only underwear. We have a waterproof bed pad under his sheets, but I'm not excited about changing the whole bed in the middle of the night. I ordered a little pad to go on top of his sheets, and we now are going overnight with no
We have been exploring a lot about the real world. For some reason Zane mentioned he would like to dig up the bones of Bijou, our dear departed cat. Many years ago I collected the skeleton of another cat, so we looked at those instead. He said "Wow!" a lot, and that was very satisfying to me.
We were talking about where our food and meat came from, and I tried to explain butchering. I have a book from the library called "Field dressing & butchering deer : step by step instructions from field to table" that should help explain things a bit.
Finally, in terms of exploring the world, we've been getting out a magnifying glass and carefully exploring things in our Cabinet of Curiosities. Fossils, mineral specimens, bugs in amber, egg shells, skulls, arrow heads and the like. This is the kind of stuff I always dreamed of doing with my child!
Michael donated a DNA model to Zane's school, and apparently they had a lesson on it, because several kids told me it was "lemonade" or "lemon juice", and "it has my spit in it." Well, you've gotta start somewhere with concepts! Zane's really been enjoying all of the lessons he has at school. Michael and I are so glad we were able to get in.
On the social side we've talked about President Lincoln, slavery and emancipation, MLK, assassination, and racism. Heavy stuff, but I believe he needs to know about these things from the get go. Current thinking for adults and children alike leans towards doing everything we can to talk about difficult subjects, not brush them under the rug.
There have been some terrible viruses going around Seattle. We got our flu shots early on, and luckily we haven't had anything like that. Still, we have had a series of colds going through the house and hitting everyone. One was particularly bad and Zane finally had his first sore throat. Poor guy sounded all raspy, his coughs sounded like seal barks, and he was too tired for several outings we had planned. The cold really got Michael, too. For some reason I escaped most of the phlegm and sore throat, but I got completely exhausted and dizzy off and on for about a week and a half. I hear there is a norovirus going around, and I really hope we can avoid that.
Zane had his first dentist appointment! I've been brushing his teeth and only recently switched to a fluoride spit-out toothpaste. I thought I was doing a good job, but then one day I saw dark spots on his molars and panicked. I got him into a kids' dentist pretty quickly. Zane was excited to go and was a real champ during the whole experience. I think the staff were impressed by his obedience and happiness. It turned out the spots were merely stained pits. Whew! He got a nice fluoride treatment on his teeth, a clean bill of health, and a nice relationship with the dentist and hygienist. We'll be back in 6 months!
I've been trying to get crafty lately with Zane. He seems interested for about 5 minutes, and then moves along. We worked on the Wheel of Time together and some valentines, but I did 99% of the work. Too bad! I had visions of us happily creating art together. Maybe it will come. He does some work at school, but I guess at home it's different. The Wheel of Time is a calendar I'd been wanting to make for a while to help him understand the passage of days, weeks, months, and seasons. So far it seems to be helping!
Last fall Michael and I took Zane to see a Cat in the Hat play. We weren't sure how it would go, but he loved it! On Superbowl Sunday Zane and I went again to Seattle Children's Theater to see Dot & Ziggy. This play was on mats in the lobby rather than in the theater, and the actors moved through the audience. They asked for help with songs and actions, and Zane had a blast! He did the Hokey Pokey with such abandon and sang The Itsy Bitsy Spider so loud that the actor playing Ziggy really noticed. After the play Ziggy told Zane he should join the company. Zane took this quite seriously and told Michael he would be in the next play. In April I'll take Zane to another stage play about Spot.
Here's a little Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to take you out.