Wednesday, March 4, 2009

We try to make most of teachable time

March 4, 2009

Post-Crescent column: We try to make most of teachable time

Our 2-year-old daughter Mihret loves going to day care, which my husband, Josh, and I like to call "school."

At her Christian school, her creative and compassionate teachers help her learn to love God, care for others and explore the world around her with a healthily curious attitude.

We've accepted the fiscal fact that, in order for us to provide for her and also plan for a second adoption, we need to be a two-income household. That means Mihret sees more of her teachers in her waking hours during the workweek than she sees of us.

So as her first teachers, we've tried to make every minute with Mihret meaningful.

When she's eating her snacks, Josh plays piano. While we clean up, we sing together, following her lead. One favorite — a "Mihret medley" of the first verse of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" that leads right into the chorus of "Jingle Bells."

When we shop, she loves to help us unpack bags. It's fun to hear her identify groceries ("Pasta! Yogurt!") and it's also interesting to see what she'll call items that are a mystery to her. Lemonade has earned the affectionate term "Clamonato."

We play catch with her globe-patterned bouncy ball. She loves to point out Africa, the continent she recognizes. We use the game as an opener to talk about her Mama Delame, Grandpa Demesse and other birth family members who live in Ethiopia.

We read her favorite books, including "The Snuggliest Snuggle in the World," a book about a mommy leopard who goes hunting and leaves Little Leopard to play with jungle friends until she returns to give hugs only parents can give. We talk about how Mama and Daddy have to go to work, but always come back.

And every night before bed, we pray together about our busy day, and the day to come.

-By Kara Patterson, Post-Crescent staff writer

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