Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Iris's car

Yesterday, the four-year-old boy I work with and his parents walked me to the car after our playroom session. While walking up to it, the little man said spontaneously: "Iris's car". We were all very exited. Not only because he recognized and labeled the car, but also because he was using a possessive verb and his pronunciation was fabulous. He had his parents and me in awe about that little piece of art he produced in that moment.

Surprises are one of the things I receive lots of lately in and around the playroom. I am constantly surprised how much the kids know and understand and how fast they learn. They may have difficulties communicating what they are thinking with people around them, but it does not say anything about their capacity of knowing and learning.

A couple of days ago, the little one asked for a ho-do. He said: "ho-do-ho-do-ho-do-ho-do-ho-do", while pacing around the room, squeezing his little fingers from excitement. First I didn't understand what it was and his excitement changed into crying for his "momma" while pointing upstairs. I explained the little man that his crying does not help me to understand what he wants to tell his momma. I asked him: what is it that you want to tell your momma? Let me help you. Then I said: "Momma, I want..." and waited for him to finish up my sentence. He looked at me and nothing happened. So, I explained that this is an opportunity for him to say what he wants and again I said, "Momma, I want..." We did this for a couple of times where he first responded with words "ho-do" and then added the word "eat". And then I got what he wanted to say to his momma: "Momma, I want hotdog!" We celebrated the clarity of our communication that day with hotdog and lots of celebrations of the "I want hotdog" sentence.

And that was only first of the celebrations. Today, the little guy was telling me not only: "I want hodoc (hotdog)" but also "I want diaper", "I want toa (toast)" and he wanted "cere". This last request I did not understand, but the little man was not easily deterred and did anything possible to help me understand that he wanted his "cereal". It seems that the sentence "I want" has given him new depths of persistence helping him to climb over the communication barrier.

There is always hope for change in any situation. If we are able to persist in our wants we can grow so far out or our boundaries that we create a miracle...

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