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The Days Are Just Packed…

February 10, 2007
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One of the greatest things about being a father is the chance to see this child of yours learn new things daily. The other morning I was at his child care, hanging out with him in their \”muscle room\” (i.e. the gym) and saw him walk up to this staircase-thing (3 steps up, 3 down, with railings close enough that little hands can grab both sides). Without hesitation, he grabbed on, went up all three steps – no crawling – and headed down the other side. He made it down 2 steps before sitting down and descending the last one by scooting. It was the first time he ever did that (at least as far as I know – the child care center doesn\’t tell us when they see things the first time, because they don\’t want anybody feeling cheated that they missed \”the first time\” of something)

I\’ve started to notice things like that a lot more lately. We had our first parent-teacher conference about Xavier\’s development a few weeks ago, and part of that process was to get a \”portfolio\” of Xavier\’s first few months at child care. The staff had copied one of the State of Ohio\’s guidelines for early child development, listing all the ways in which a child grows and develops over the first three years of life. There were 6 sections, and each section had a handful of specific tasks and skills that develop. After each section were notes from the staff about how Xavier was doing with respect to each of the areas.

It sounds so complex and structured to read about – and I admit to thinking \”he\’s a baby – why are we concerned with evaluating and measuring him already? He\’ll get enough of that in school!\” as they started into the booklet.

By the end, though, I have to admit that I was astonished by exactly how much children pick up on a daily basis, and how that impacts what they\’ll be able to do later in life.

I had wanted to post the various categories and milestones in this blog – but Xavier\’s awake now, and would like some attention. Maybe I\’ll get to it later.

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