Friday, July 23, 2010

Music Man

When children are but a few months old, they begin to show their preferences in terms of toys and books. Later on they pick which food they eat, which nursery rhymes to listen to and which videos to watch. The point is, little people know what they like.

My son has always loved classical music. When he was in the womb, I listened to it most of the time, partly because as a trained classical dancer for most of my life, I enjoyed it, but mostly because of the whole Mozart-brain development theory.

I continued to play classical music when Little A was born, and the first videos he watched (and consequently grew totally addicted to) were the Baby Einstein and then the Little Einstein ones.

When he began to recognize shapes and images, he took great notice of musical instruments - brass, percussion and strings. He studies photos of instruments very intently and sometimes carries them around with him. One of his all-time favourite books from age one to this day is Zin Zin Zin A Violin, which has kept him occupied on plane, train and car rides as well as at home, for hours.

Little A recently inherited a 1/16th size violin that his two cousins have outgrown, to his great delight. Visits to their house have seen him sitting in a corner with both violins in front of him, serenading the rabbits in their cage.

While he seems a little young yet to begin music lessons, we are hoping the love for music remains, and that in time he will make music as well as he enjoys listening to it.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Three's Company

This week, I will bake more cakes than I have in the past six months. My boy is three, and we are celebrating in our own little way.

Unlike my artsy younger sister, who could give Martha Stewart a run for her money in the crafting department, I have neither the talent nor the patience to cut out a gazillion crepe paper streamers and glue them into intricate shapes with added tiny accents. That said, Little A would probably love running through a flat with crepe paper streamers dangling from the ceiling so maybe I should get out those scissors.

My Martha moments come in the kitchen. Since this is birthday week, I am baking, baking, baking, with plenty of help from my dear food blogger friend.

On Sunday, I made a chocolate cake for myself, a yogurt cake for Big A's family (it was his grandmother's birthday as well, and 96 is certainly a milestone) and cupcakes to take to school for Little A's classmates the next day. The last were with a little help from good old Duncan Hines since I didn't have enough butter nor sugar to make the frosting from scratch.

This afternoon, I will make another chocolate cake, and a gluten free sponge cake for tomorrow, when Little A celebrates with his cousins. That way he can have his cake and eat it too.

Three years have been chronicled in this blog so far, with many more to come. For his third year, I wish my little boy good health and happiness. He knows how much he is loved.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Read On

I am all for promoting children's reading. Whether it's a creative but copyright-infringing knockoff or a simple homemade picture book, anything that gets kids away from the television and turning pages cannot be bad.

These two little books were products of a book swap I recently took part in, and now happily live on Little A's bookshelves. Both brand new, both overlooked, these books represent two of the best things about children's literature and just go to show how some people's trash is other people's treasure.

One is just one step above a picture book, with lovely illustrations and simple text that makes for perfect bedtime reading for a young toddler. The other is verse, one of the best things for young children's language development. All of my favourites by Eugene Field, Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll, Emily Dickinson and even Mother Goose are in this slim volume. The lilting cadences that come with reading verse out loud calm me down, and certainly lull my cranky son into quietness.

I only wished there were more copies of these books at the swap. I would have snapped them up and given them to my godchildren this Christmas.