Sunday, January 23, 2005

Snowed in team coaching.

After digging us out of 2 feet of snow for 2 and a half hours I settled down with the kids. I read baby M her Baby Faces book while L and T worked on a puzzle. After M read the book about 10 times my wife came in and decided we should all teach M how to walk. My wife brought great energy into the room and we all became excited by her new game.
We got in a circle and all stretched our arms out to M. M walked from family member to family member while the others cheered. M only paused for a few moments to clap for herself, and then she was right back up to work. T (3 yrs old) was beaming as M walked towards him. Come on M, you can do it! I smiled during the whole game. I love watching my kids teach each other. It give me butterflies to watch my family work together to coach one another.
Later I was getting M dressed. She was squirming around as usual. I looked at her and held her shirt out towards her and said: "M put her shirt on?" '
M tilted her head and held still for the shirt. She then proceeded to slide both of her arms in by herself. I smiled and clapped. "You did it." M clapped too. Then I held out my hand and she high fived it several times. Too cute.
I put M to bed and corralled L and T. "We have some time before bed. T, do you want to do your letter game on the computer?"
"Sure" said T.
We all went downstairs. We played baseball while the PC booted. L fired fastballs at T with a stuffed ball. T ripped one. While T learned his letter sounds, L and I played catch with the soft ball. L kept looking at the game on the computer. "T, it is the letter L! L makes the sound La! Like Ladder!"
L learned to read with the help of the same software package. I gently urged L not to give T the answers, but only to guide him. She used her patience very well. T continued for 20 minutes. I was totally impressed by his concentration. At the end of the session the program reported that he could read 23 words.
More importantly I found myself not worrying about what levels he completed on the game. I just hoped that he would learn the words and enjoy the learning. It made the coaching so much more fun. And L and I got to play catch in the process.
After I helped the kids to bed my wife and I caught some of the second half of the AFC championship game with the Patriots. They will be tough to beat in the Super Bowl.

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