Saturday, September 29, 2007

Borrowed Perspective and Puzzles

Pamela had a great week, that is, if you ignore a nasty cold and several interruptions from three different service technicians for our home. She finished the tenth and final primer of the Reading Milestones Red Book series and recited three poems for me: At the Zoo, There Was a Little Girl, and At the Seaside. She finished her first 300-piece puzzle, plus she found a cure for the common cold.

I am finally starting to understand what RDI parents mean about borrowed perspective. I do not know why, but I once thought it was so important that Pamela do things without any help or hints to prove to me she could do it all by herself and work on that important concept of independence. I kept a flat face, betraying no hints to avoid tossing out hints. I think residual habits from The Me Book days clouded my judgment. When it came to tasks that were too hard and not worth the effort (jigsaw puzzles), I let them go by the wayside because she was so inept.

When I was Pamela's age, I enjoyed puzzles and could always count on my oma in Germany sending me a big, beautiful one every Christmas. Until now, I have not done much to share that joy with Pamela. I am seeing for the first time that Pamela can borrow from my perspective and improve her puzzle building skills. Being able to build a puzzle is not as important as working together as a team, enjoying each other's company, and sharing little triumphs.

During the week, we were puzzle partners with different roles. I retrieved puzzle pieces from the box and gazed at the spot on the box matching the piece. She referenced me until she found the right spot and then placed the piece on the mat. Before RDI, she blindly put puzzle pieces together without any thought. Now, between referencing my face for information and hearing declarative comments, she understands about the edges, matching by shape or by colors, and using the box. And occasionally, she finds the spot first or knows exactly where to place it on the mat!

We ended the week with a sweet moment while baking cookies. Pamela helped me clean the kitchen, and it was time to lick the bowl. She does not have a problem with sharing and does not mind if I snatch a lick or two. I always pretend like I am going to keep it for myself to see how she reacts. Normally, she gives me a pretty bland smile when I take my licks. Last night, she very dramatically scrunched up her face and stuck out her tongue as if to tell me I was hogging the bowl. Then, when I nonverbally gestured to give her the bowl, she flashed me a great, big smile, even lifting her shoulders up to make it more dramatic. Before RDI, only strong emotions brought about strong facial expressions. I find it so delightful to see such animated features blossom with even emotions.

2 comments:

Prince Andrew and the Queen Mum said...

I just love that RDI embraces facial expressions. I love both Andrew's facial and verbal expressions. This was such a sweet story!

The Glasers said...

These two areas have been weak for Pamela! Before RDI, we only saw facial expressions with very strong emotions. Now, we are starting to see genuine smiles more often as Pamela improves at using her face.