This is the end of the 3rd week of babysitting our friends’ little girl (i don’t have a nickname for her yet!). So far, it’s gone fairly well, and they’re showing signs of getting used to the idea–the girls, that is. The first week went smoothly, and we did no preschool work; it was basically just a play week. Last week, the bickering and arguing started: Munchkin was tired of sharing her toys on a long-term basis. Sure, she enjoys having a friend here every day, but she wasn’t understanding yet what it means to be a friend and share and get along together. This week, i discovered that my sweet, innocent little angel really isn’t all that sweet or innocent; she’s a fighter. She scratches, pinches, hits, and kicks when she doesn’t get her way. When the other Girl picks up a toy that Munckin hasn’t played with for a few weeks, Munchkin suddenly decides that she absolutely has to play with that particular toy. She then grabs the toy and essentially plays tug-of-war with the other Girl, and when the other Girl wins (which normally happens) Munchkin starts the physical stuff. Ugh. Dh and I were talking about it and wondering where she’s getting these ideas that it’s okay to do that stuff. The only place where she’s with other people and not us is in Sunday school, and I don’t think they’d let the kids get away with that.

So, anyway, we gradually added some preschool-ish activities to our day. Munchkin has been enjoying the break as the other Girl transitions slowly to new environments and routines. Last week, I began adding a daily Bible verse to trace on manuscript paper and broken crayons on a table for the girls to work on. Munchkin normally loves stuff like that, but since the other Girl has been here, she hasn’t been doing as much. Apparently, the other Girl cannot be told to work on her writing–she only does what she wants when she wants to do it–well, within reason. If it’s left out for her to discover, that’s another thing.

Noah’s Ark Update: While I was still expecting Munchkin, my parents found a homemade wooden ark, complete with Noah and the animals. Each piece is simply a silhouette of each animal and Noah holding the dove, cut out by a jigsaw and no paint on them. We have continued with the reading and acting out of the story with the ark. Last Tuesday I put a piece of white posterboard on the coffee table and traced twice around half the animals and once of Noah. Once the tracings were done in pencil, I went over the lines again with a black ball-point pen. i set out a bunch of crayons for the girls to color with. Boy, you’d think they won the lottery or something when they saw it! Munchkin began coloring the animals and the other Girl began coloring everything else. When the picture is ready, I’m going to take the table outside and let the girls paint over it with watercolors. The wax should repel the paint and make a neat effect for the girls.

As I mentioned before, the fighting between the girls has begun. They will fight over anything, and I mean ANYthing! They’ll fight over who gets to use the potty first. They fight over who can say whatever, who can sit in the red or the green chairs, who can play with what toy. There are two really nice baby dolls here in the house. They were fighting over who had which one! Finally, I had enough and made each of them a rag doll. They chose what color yarn they wanted for hair, and i sewed it on and braided it for them. Each doll even has a behind and a bellybutton, too. At the moment, the dolls don’t have any clothing, but the girls seem okay with that right now. This week, i made each doll a blanket and sewed the girls’ initials on them. That seemed to help alleviate the situation a little, but they’re still fighting. In fact, right now they’re arguing as to who has the pink yogurt (they both do–it’s the same flavor). in light of all this, the girls are very interested in discussing their families. The Girl keeps asking for her Papa and MorMor, and Munchkin talks about her Pappaw and Gramma. They also take very good care of their “babies”, and I’ve been encouraging them to read books to the dolls. I think we’re going to slip into a side study on Families, and go from there while continuing to work on Noah’s Ark.

Family Study Update #1: I’m going to observe the girls a little more. i think this will be a good one, and get the Girl’s parents and family involved, as well as ours. I was doing some research last night, and A to Z Teacher Stuff has some neat ideas. i combined a couple of them for our own purposes. I have one idea that I hope goes over quite well. i think we’re going to make family albums, but with a twist. I’ll post about it next today so that others can simply go to that post and find the directions. Once I pay my library fines (doo-de-doo-de-doo), I’m going to start taking the girls up and look for more books on family relationships that are relevant to them. i have some books in our own library, but since we have an ecclectic mix, there aren’t very many dealing with families–well, they do indirectly, but nothing of large significance.

Reading: Munchkin LOVES to read. She is able to read the first 3-4 stories in the Dick and Jane Treasury. l can assess this by taking the same words from that book and putting them in another context. She remembers what they are! it seems that whole-word is working, and we’re getting a little into phonics and sounding out the words, but we’re not quite there to understanding the concept yet. We’re working on “Spot” and “Puff” right now; we start out by reading the stories we already know then progress to the next story. We do this each time to keep reinforcing what we already know, and, well, Munchkin enjoys it. It’s not “work” yet, so I’m taking what I can get for the moment.