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Jul 18 2013

What My 4-Year-Old Knows About Tolerance (Already!)

By at 12:46 pm

penguins at zoo“Today we played with multicultural dolls in honor of Martin King Jr. Day,” read the daily report from our daycare. Our son was about 7 months at the time. I have to admit I was slightly amused by the image of our baby drooling on toys of varying shades of color. While I am quite confident he missed the tolerance lesson, I truly appreciate the efforts of our caregivers.

I know our 4-year-old twins, on the other hand, are getting the message clearly and I am constantly learning from them. “Criss-cross applesauce” is what our children say as they sit down on the floor, legs folded beneath them. I received blank stares the ONE time I used the phrase “Indian style.” I must confess it never occurred to me that there was anything wrong with the old phrase we used regularly growing up, until the applesauce rhyme gave me cause to consider, like so many of the other words and phrases they glean from daycare.

The other day I had the rare opportunity to spend one-on-one time with our oldest who was home from daycare due to a mild fever. We talked without interruptions and he dictated the day’s agenda. We read books, did an art project, and shared a special breakfast. In that treasured time together, just the two of us, he did not have to compete for my attention and he could take his time expressing his thoughts. By late morning he was feeling better and we were both eager to get out of the house. At his request we headed to the zoo.  Read the rest of this entry →


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