By: Davida Grant
Reading is a big deal in my house, and not only for the obvious reason (I want literate kids!). Books can expose children to uncharted creativity. I say uncharted because the images a child creates from reading may be the first of its kind, at least for that child. And aren’t creativity and imagination the catalyst for the exciting products and inventions we enjoy on a daily basis? So, I encourage all parents to engage their children in reading activities at a young age to develop and hone these important skills.
This past weekend, my stepson Frankie (6-years old) was with us and I asked him to read a few books to Simone. He was literally distraught. It was the absolute last thing in the world he wanted to do. Once he figured out, and quickly, that this was not an optional activity, he got with the program and began reading the first book. It was about going to the doctor. After a few pages, I could tell he wasn’t comprehending anything and wasn’t having fun AT ALL. So I decided to shake things up. After each page, I started asking questions, relating the character’s (Fozzie Bear) experience to Frankie and Simone’s experiences when they visit the doctor. Frankie started to perk up. He showed me where his doctor puts the stethoscope, how his doctor checks his temperature, and on and on. The more we talked, the more and more excited Frankie became. He wanted to continue reading to see what else Fozzie Bear experienced. Of course, Simone couldn’t be outdone. She had to join in and tell us every random thing she could think of related to her doctor and she told us over and over.
Once we finished the first book, I decided to read them the second book. I read it with great feeling and expression. Anytime the book described an activity, I demonstrated it. The kids loved it. At one point, the book described a band comprised of a drum and horn and I started beating on the table and making sounds. Frankie and Simone joined in, making up their own versions. We started dancing and jumping around. When I finished reading the book, the kids were full of giggles and smiles. “That was fun,” Frankie said. And it was.
How do you make reading fun?
By: Davida Grant
Grant is 9-months-old today. My little buddy is the coolest boy I know. His laid back demeanor (definitely doesn’t get that from me) is calming and immediately puts me in a better mood. As I celebrated this milestone by showering him with EXTRA kisses this morning, I started reflecting on all the life lessons he’s been reinforcing in me!
Grant doesn’t sweat the small stuff. He takes everything in stride. Nothing fazes him. WHO IS THIS LITTLE BOY!! Why can’t I embrace this concept?
He finds joy in everything. The littlest thing brings a smile to his face and a giggle from his lips. Why does it take days like today to make me stop and appreciate the little things?
All he really wants is time with his loved ones. He craves me, Simone and his dad. His priorities are straight. Are mine?
All of these are simple, no brainers, but I’ve yet to master them. The silver lining — it’s never too late. I love that about this journey called life. Grant Grant Grant. Who knew you could teach mommy lessons.
By: Davida Grant
Teaching diversity is a big deal in my household. I have Simone enrolled in a school with a diverse student and teacher population, I read her books that show diversity, and I take her to weekend activities that include children from all walks of life. I also make it my business to interact with all types of people, demonstrating by example that people can get along and be friends, even if they look, think, speak or act differently. I truly am a firm believer that all parents should take the time to explain to their kids that differences are a good thing, and should do so as early as possible. Just think how beneficial this would be to efforts to move this country past the racism and prejudices that plague America.
Last week, I took Simone to the doctor for a check-up. While we waited, a little girl in a wheelchair with a physical deformity, and a toddler and infant with Down’s Syndrome joined us in the waiting area. As I greeted the children and interacted with them (eye contact, smiling, etc.), I watched Simone as she took in each child individually. Eventually, she pointed at the little girl in the wheelchair and said, “Mommy, she’s my friend.” I smiled and shook my head, concurring with her declaration. Simone approached the little girl and initiated a conversation. Shortly thereafter, she pointed to the toddler and infant and said, “baby mommy.” She began smiling and waving at them. Simone really adores babies. Her excitement was contagious. Everyone in the waiting room was smiling and chuckling as they observed my daughter’s interaction with their children.
I couldn’t have been more proud. Simone embraced those children, even though they looked different, without missing a beat. It was so natural. The other parents absolutely loved the attention my daughter showed their children. As I watched Simone, I couldn’t help but wonder if my actions had anything to do with her behavior. I will never underestimate the lessons my children learn from my example.
By: Davida Grant
It is bitter cold in the DMV. Because our house can be a bit drafty, I let the kids sleep in the bed with me last night. We were cuddled up together, snug as bugs in a rug. As usual, when the alarm sounded, I jumped out of bed, pumped Grant’s breakfast (3 more months of breastfeeding to go!), got myself and the kids dressed, and was out the door. As I headed to Grant’s daycare, I did my absolute FAVORITE morning activity. I called my husband.
The hubby leaves for work around 5:00 a.m., so we never see him in the mornings. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to our morning calls. Not only do I absolutely love the sound of his voice, but I love the smile I see on baby girl’s face every time she hears him say, “Hey Monee, Mone.” Most times, we chat about nothing major, just a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Until this morning, I’m not sure I realized how important these morning “chats” are to our family. They really set the tone for our day and are one of the many things that keep the hubby and me bonded and our family unit strong. I am so blessed.