Mihret at about 10 months old, tickling the ivories with her Abaye
My (Kara's) latest column in The Post-Crescent: (from Aug. 27, 2008)
My 18-month-old daughter, Mihret, and one of her day care teachers love to dance together at day's end, when Mihret's waiting for me or my husband, Josh, to pick her up.
Our energetic toddler loves to make up her own moves. Recently, she figured out how to turn on the CD player to get the music started.
Her day care also offers Musikgarten, an early childhood music and movement class, as an addition to the curriculum.
Mihret loves singing, and she's gone from parroting back sounds on pitch to repeating lyrics. Josh, a Beatles fan, has gotten her to sing "backup" on car rides, echoing him on "Hey Jude."
Even though she's not yet 2, we can't help but wonder what organized activities she'll want to try as she grows.
We both had parents who signed us up early for various types of lessons, some that lasted and some that didn't.
Now we're staring at our daughter's clean slate, wondering what marks she'll make on it first.
We're already thinking of ways we can offer opportunities without racking up the costs. There's Mihret's Grandma's well-preserved violin. Her Uncle Dave can give her drum lessons, and Josh can teach her how to play our home piano. Then there's Josh's company's discount at a local dance studio.
It can be too easy to tire our child out theoretically before she's old enough to protest.
Our job as her parents is to be her first coaches, advisers and teachers. We need to encourage her when we see she may enjoy an activity.
But what she sticks with when she's older, well, we need to remember that that's got to be her move.
By Kara Patterson, Post-Crescent staff writer