Expert Parent Advice

The Itsy Bitsy Lil Learner

Life as a working mom can be pretty busy.  Simple household upkeep such as unloading the dishwasher or doing laundry can seem like an impossible task at times.  The older and more mobile Micah got, the harder keeping up was.  When we moved to our new home, I was lucky to find time to unpack our necessities.  Everything else was put on the back burner so I could spend time interacting with my guy.  Each night before bed, we sang and read stories.  Hubby and I were painfully aware of the small repertoire of songs we would sing.  We talked about adding songs to our rotation, but each evening I found myself singing the same songs over and over.  I could never think of a new song in the moment.  Micah didn’t seem to mind but it sure did feel stale to us!

When Micah was born, we were overwhelmed with gifts from friends and family. We received many toys that he wasn’t ready for at the time of the move, so I stashed them in a box and shoved them in a corner somewhere. After he started crawling, he became increasingly more interested in exploring his environment.  I decided it was time to dig out some of his “big boy” toys.  There were talking phones and light-up blocks and singing frogs.  It was like a gold mine of toys! As we introduced him to his new stuff, it became apparent just how ready he was. With each new friend he became more giddy and excited. My baby was ready to learn new skills!

One night while I was making dinner (or perhaps I was calling for delivery), hubby and Micah were playing with one of his new toys.  It was a stuffed animal that sang nursery rhymes and other toddler-friendly songs.  Micah was bopping his head and clapping his hands when each song was done.  When the toy began to play “Itsy, Bitsy Spider,” Micah started to do the motions along with hubby and the animal.  Hubby called me down, excited and perplexed.  Where did he learn this? We hadn’t yet introduced him to this particular song, and yet he seemed to know all the movements.  I shrugged it off and reminded hubby that we had brought a boy genius into this world and he shouldn’t be surprised at his advanced knowledge. 

A couple of days later, I logged into the Kids ‘R’ Kids webcams and saw his teachers sitting on the floor with the children in his classroom.  I tuned in for a couple minutes and was able to watch Micah repeat the motions he had done in our living room earlier in the week.  I inquired with his teachers later that evening, and they confirmed that “Itsy Bitsy Spider” was one of the songs they sang often.  Micah seemed to take to this song in particular, and apparently he walked over to them and made his fingers “rain” throughout the day so they could sing. I asked them about other songs he was learning, and they gave me a list of his favorites. 

Hubby and I had a laugh that night as we talked about how long it had taken us to bring new toys into circulation.  Seeing how easily Micah took to his new stuff was a testament to how much he had been learning at school. We made a commitment to pay close attention to the daily sheets and weekly newsletters we received from his classroom teachers.  They provided us with the names of songs and books that Micah was being introduced to each day.  It was like a daily cheat sheet on what to teach my child a busy mom’s dream!  Our nightly routine no longer feels stale. We sing songs to Micah that he is familiar with, and sometimes he even babbles along! Thanks, Kids ‘R’ Kids!