Sunday, March 30, 2008

Animals and TV ramblings

Evan likes books... a lot. One series of books that I have been reading to him since he was 7 months old are the Animal Babies.... by Editors of Kingfisher. We have Animal Babies in Grasslands, Rain Forest, and ....In Ponds and Rivers. We've also taken out some of the others in the series from the library. Now that I've looked on Amazon, I see there are more that I wasn't aware of. Looks like I need to find some good deals somewhere! These books have great pictures of many types of animals.
On the subject of Evan liking animals, a couple of nights ago, John and I were watching a documentary on giraffes on Animal Planet. Very interesting, especially watching the mother give birth to her baby. Evan was loving it (I know this because of the smile on his face and the occasional flapping of his hands :) We brought him to the zoo last summer, but he wasn't very interested at that point. I'm looking forward to a return trip very soon when the weather starts cooperating.
More on TV... Evan had a good laugh this past week. He went up the stairs (with me following behind) and went into the TV/trains/everything room where Kyle was watching TV. Now, I've told Kyle, repeatedly, that if Evan ever goes upstairs, he is supposed to make sure that I am with him (if for some reason the gate isn't up). Once again, I quietly followed Evan up the stairs, and he went into the room where Kyle was (I stayed in the hallway). Kyle's response, "Oh, hey Evan," and they continued to watch Tom and Jerry together. (We still need to work on that!) It was funny; Evan was laughing at the appropriate times to the silly comedy. Ex.-Tom swatting a broom at Jerry's uncle, doors getting slammed on Tom, etc. Evan's shows are Little Einsteins, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Super Why!; he doesn't have much exposure to other cartoons.
It reminded me of the first time Kyle and Matt saw The Three Stooges a few years ago (their father's idea). They were laughing so hard that they had tears coming out of their eyes. Sense of humor for slapstick type comedy is one of their stronger traits :)
Yes, the boys have had their fair share of exposure to television (Kyle more than Matt). Some might argue this, but I don't think it has been all bad for their speech development. Kyle has a difficult time with conversation, more so than Matt. He kind of gets into a "one track mind," and no matter how you try to talk about one thing, he'll respond with what's on his mind. An example of this is from a couple of years ago at school. His teacher would give him papers that had pictures of people doing various activities. He had to verbally tell them a sentence about the pictures, and they would write what he said. One picture was of a girl raking leaves; in Kyle's defence, she had a bit of a thoughtful look on her face. His sentence: "The girl is thinking about Rusty Wallace." (NASCAR driver) Hmm, wonder what was on his mind!
I must say, there has been some improvement over the past couple of years. Some of his responses are so funny; he'll come up with some phrase or word that I KNOW he's gotten from a show, and he'll say it at an appropriate time. He also uses his memory of shows in a calming manner. He used to have what we would call "his phrase of the month." These are phrases that he repeats when confronted with a situation that is a bit uncomfortable. Some examples from his younger years (3, 4) : "Hi HO!, "Show me the beast!," "Humph, said the papa bear." Currently, he recites scenes from SpongeBob.
Back to the learning aspect, over the summer he learned that "perplexed means confused" (and he said it frequently). It's something he got from some crazy show called The Upside Down Show. Game Shows....he is learning numbers and they're filled with trivia. Math is tough for both of the boys; they're both at a 1st/2nd grade level in this area. With game shows, they have a strong interest; the learning comes a little easier, maybe?
Since Evan's arrival, Kyle is watching more TV than I think he should be (due to my not being able to devote as much attention to his needs; my schedule has also changed over the past few years). When they were younger, it was much easier to control the amount of TV they watched. It was easy to tell a 5 year old to go out and play (and they wanted to), and there were so many toys inside that kept their interest. They really don't "play" outside anymore. In the summer, they'll be swimming everyday, shooting some hoops, we'll go "play" a little tennis, but finding things for them to do is tricky. Well, actually, Matt is pretty good about finding things to do, Kyle is a little tougher. He sets up his train track and plays with it, plays some video games, gets involved in a family game of Trouble, and he makes lists, but boy, we're struggling to find activities that keep his interest. Suggestions are welcome :-)

Spring break is over, boooo.......I think that explains my rambling


Anonymous said...

so r u saying that when the kids are home you ramble to them ;-)

Kristiem10 said...

Drew loves game shows. Family Feud is his favorite. All the "dings" and "buzzes" are so fun! And they both love Tom and Jerry. They will laugh their heads off while watching it.

Jen said...

Well, actually Beth, I probably do ! :)