As of last week, Olivia was being forced to wear short-sleeved shirts to school with a sweater for warmth, which would be removed if she started to let the sleeves of the sweater distract her from her school work.
Yesterday when I got home she happily reported that she’d only had to take off her sweater once that day.
When I was relaying that information to my mom that evening, Olivia was quick to correct my assumption that her teacher had made her take off her sweater.
“No,” Olivia told me, “my teacher didn’t make me take off my sweater. I took off the sweater myself when I started to pull at my sleeves.”
How’s that for self-regulating behavior? I was so proud of her. It’s a lot like when she stopped sucking her thumb and pulling her hair out. It wasn’t something I or any other adult around her could control. Only Olivia could change that behavior and she did it. She amazes me.
For the past three years or so, we’ve read three books every single evening. Ever since she was sick about a month ago, Olivia only wants me to read one book, which is fine, no big deal. But when we sit down to read, she’ll inspect the book, asking, “Do this book have A LOT of words?”
If it does, she tries to talk me out of reading it. I don’t know if this is because she’s more tired these days or if she’s just bored with the books we’re reading. I may have to break out the Junie B. books and see if those (they have LOTS of words) are more to her liking. She especially likes it when I read books in a seriously dopey voice that I can’t begin to describe. It has to be heard to be believed. I started using this voice when I read a book about a bear looking for his hat. It was such a dopey book that it needed a dopey voice to go along with it. She liked the voice so much we read the book three times. Now she wants that voice for every book. So she gets the voice, even during books that have ‘a lot’ of words.
I’m guessing this ‘a lot of words’ thing is a phase and we’ll get through it. She still very much prefers to have me read to her than read the books herself, and honestly, for that, I’m grateful. I know these years of her wanting to listen to me read are winding down.
Can’t I just keep them eight and twelve for a few more years? Please?