Well there are many ways you can explain stuff to a child, but the most innovative and expressive ways come from kids themselves. Its amazing what a kid can learn and assimilate if the knowledge comes from their peers. In my home that happens often. My elder triplet children have a lot to share with their younger sister and you can imagine how much that can be if the ratio of sharing to receiving is 3:1 right?!
Recently, one night, R came to me wanting to explain something to me. She had forgotten what to call it. Needless to say, it was something she learnt from her elder siblings…whom she calls “Didi(s)” (a title given to elder sisters in Hindi)
“Mama..there are these wiggly things in your body…with a dot”, she said, while she drew in the air…her fingers tracing a perimeter made of C’s (lots of them…) and ended it with a dot.. The dot ofcourse, was meant to be the eye!
Then she continued as I starred blankly into her eyes..
“I don’t know what its called and there are germs that could swallow it. It could make you sick sometimes!”
“Didis know what its called…Do you know?!”
“I don’t know beta!”, I said with a blank face..
She ran to her sisters and came back with an answer. Well! I could hear her talking with them and them blurting out the answer to her riddle.
“White Blood Cells! Right!”, she exclaimed.
She went on to journal that in her book as follows:
“ When you have 4 white blod sels, you will get sik and you will not go to scool”
Then she went on to explain her statement to me.
“If you have a 100 germs…”, she showed to me the magnanimity of the situation by stretching her arms and running across the room this way and that…showing how far 100 germs would stretch!
“and you have 4 white blood cells, then the germs will eat up the white blood cells. You will need 100 white blood cells to not get sik!”
Such a simple explanation to why somebody gets sick. And I didn’t need to do the explaining! There’s always an advantage for younger siblings as they get to earn lots of such information from their elder ones and they also become the perfect candidates for the older ones to play mom … teacher.
Now I know, what was that happening the other day when I saw N at the board..drawing something for R as they played Teacher and Student!
And another evening .. the phrase “don’t have guts” popped up in a Dr. Seuss book and it became a perfect moment to know what guts meant?
“What is that?"!”
“Its your intestines..the one that absorbs the food, for your body and throws out the rest of it as poop”, I said.
Her antlers stood up. Well..we were talking Poop, right!!
“Does food have poop in it?”, comes back a valid question.
“And how does pee form, mama?”
“You know your body has so much water in it..It needs it, and gets it from all the food and liquids you have. It uses it to wash your insides and collects it in a bag kind of thing that when full…makes you feel like you want to go!”, came my brief, layman kinda explanation.
“Oh!! that’s why we got to wash our hands…because it has so many germs in it….”, Suddenly all the hand washing made sense to her.”
Its been such a joy to see this kindergartner expand her knowledge this year..She has suddenly realized the joy of writing and is filling out books with no more than 2-3 lines per page.
She’s listening..and is doing that hard, I can see. The other day as I picked her up from school, she exclaimed.
“Mama,…Mother nature is going crazy!”
“ Its winter and upposed to be cold but, look its warm”, she said.
I’m sure she must have picked that up from some teacher at school. She loved it. She made sure to make it her own. and who else to show that to, than your mom!
and yet another day…she says…
“Mama, I’m moving!”, as she takes her brush from my bathroom to her sisters bathroom.
Introduction to minimalistic living 101 ?!!!
Life would be so easy and uncomplicated, if that is all we needed to do, during a move, wouldn’t it?!
It sure is a “houseful” at our home here..mostly noisy and boisterous with lots of laughter and double the number of cranky moments..although the moments of laughter manage to shadow the crabby ones.
Most times we even manage to surprise a guest or two with total silence as they enter, and then comes the moment when they realize everybody was home!!!