Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pipiana's kindness to Nana - A Learning Story

Pipiana Discovers Eyelashes
Pipiana your favorite book at the moment is Puff the Magic Dragon. I have read it to you lots of times. Your book comes with a CD and though you are quite capable of playing the CD for yourself you would much rather have my company, the comfort of my body and the slight off key-ness of my singing.You are very complimentary to your Nana. I love to cuddle up to you when we share books too.

As I read the Puff book you kept pointing to Puff’s eyes. I noticed your fascination as you found and stroked his eyes on every page. I said “Here, Nana’s eye too” and I stroked my eye. You pointed to your eye and said ‘eye’. I held your little finger and brushed it on my eyelashes. You laughed. It tickled both of us and we giggled again. I brushed your eyelashes very gently and then you stroked your own. Then we had some 'butterfly kisses' - the ones where we flutter our eyelashes together. We tickled each other with our eyelashes. Squirmy, wriggly and wormy up close eyelash to eyelash - Haha! such eyelash fun.
What a discovery - eyelashes. You went back to look at Puff and in your own questioning way looked for Puff’s eyelashes.
Does Puff have eyelashes? Do dragons have eyelashes ? We looked and looked - you ran your finger over the illustration and studied his eyes very closely. To my amazement you decided there were some eyelashes on Puff. They were the ever so feint strokes of the illustrator's pen that your imagination made in to eyelashes. You smiled up at me with the satisfaction of your discovery and your question answered - Yes! Puff has eyelashes.
That quick little finger then came back to my eyes, searching out my eyelashes again. When your pointed finger missed my eyelashes and made contact with my eyeball I flinched and drew back from your finger. Quick as a wink that finger found your own eye and with a feigned poke - you flinched and looked back with a sad look on your face too. Mirroring my emotion and the sadness my face you reached to my face and stroked it ever so softly. Smiling at each other we both felt better. I think you were saying ‘Aroha mai, Nan’. I love you my little mokopuna.

What I learnt about Pipiana; You absolutely love books and reading. It is one of your favorite things to do. You choose the exact books you want to read. You love flap books too. Maisey and Spot are other favourites. You enquire and answer your own questions.
I learnt that you are empathetic and kind. You let me know that you understood that it hurts to have your eye poked and you wanted to help me feel better. And... I did feel better, thanks to your kind strokes on my face.
Who would have believed this is possible from an 18 month old baby?

Mummy tells me still love to read about Puff and you are continuing your interest in eyes and eyelashes. You have been observing Mummy putting on her mascara and now you insist on doing some for yourself. Goodness me.

Professor Alison Gopnik in her book the Philosophical Baby says that “We used to think that babies and young children were irrational, egocentric, immediate and limited. In fact, psychologists and neuroscientists have discovered that babies not only learn more, care more and experience more than we ever could have thought possible. In some ways, young children are actually smarter, more imaginative, more caring and even more conscious that adults are”.(p.5) Also that “... love itself depends on knowledge and imagination. For babies, who are so utterly helpless and dependent, no theory is as important as the theory of love. From the time they are very small babies are figuring out these theories of love, based on what they see the caregivers around them do and say. And these theories in turn shape the way these babies will care for their own children when they grow up”. (p.247)
From Nana with Love. April 2011

1 comment:

Kim said...

What a lovely story! It really illustrates the close connection and importance of whanau and young childrens learning. Children exploring and challenging themselves because they feel happy and secure like Pipiana feels with her Nan. What an awesome Nan who takes the time to enjoy her mokopuna and how perceptive you are about her learning! The years of greatest growth and learning for children are these pre-school years.