One of the more fun results of Corrigan’s increased attention span, and body awareness, is that he now enjoys songs and rhymes that employ hand and body movements. Songs like “Itsy-Bitsy Spider” and “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” are so much more interactive now that he wants to learn the movements and watches carefully.
Barney is a favorite character in this house and many of his songs include specific requests to move certain body parts, or clap in a certain way and it really is delightful to watch Corrigan study the screen and then attempt the movements too.
In the absence of a large, purple dinosaur to model the movements, it is left to me to show him how to move. A few months ago, a Canadian friend sent Corrigan some musical cd’s and the Raffi song, “Shake my Sillies Out” is a great example of a song that uses body awareness. His all-time favorite performer, Steve Songs, also uses music and movements in his repertoire. One of Corrigan’s favorite parts is when Steve asks the kids to sit down (in an invisible chair) and then jump! (up in to the air).
All of this jumping around is not easy for a woman of my…ahem…endowment. There are several reasons that I am not a runner, one of them being that by the time I would squeeze myself into four sports bras, I would be too exhausted to go pound the pavement. Plus, breathing. Four layers of lycra and chicken wire can really impede inhaling and exhaling.
Basically, I am not a fan of anything that leads to bouncing but I am a sucker for my boy, and if he wants me to “jump, jump, jump my jiggles out” then who am I to ignore that request? Soooooo, I jump when asked, but with my hands on top of my jiggliest parts (to prevent knocking myself out, you know) and Corrigan is thrilled that I am playing along.
Flashback to his well-visit this past week, the pediatrician had me fill out the usual developmental worksheets, and there were some physical milestones that needed to be checked off for gross motor skills. Could he stand on one foot for six seconds? Does he skip? Can he jump from a standing position to a spot at least 20 inches away? Corrigan was happy to oblige requests to demonstrate his abilities but I cracked up laughing when I realized that every time he was asked to demonstrate something that required him to jump, he threw his little hands up over his chest just like Mommy does.
Long story short…I’ve inadvertently taught him to jump like he is sporting unharnessed, double D’s.
This “monkey see, monkey do” stuff can really bite you in the butt!