Being an RDI mum means that I journal a lot. It might be a nebulous little paragraph, perhaps a long story or even a photograph. Regardless of what I may write, it is certainly a great way to reflect and to keep track of our progress.
The following is my latest journal entry.
It's been one of those slack days! The type of day that involves being a taxi mum and a dog walker. The hours in this type of day just fly by so quickly and before I know it, the day is over and I have put very little effort into *planned engagements* with Nick. Life happens and sometimes it is just best to go with it!
Anyhow, as I was on the way to the beach with boy and dog in tow, I was thinking away to myself (whilst driving very carefully!)... what could I do with Nick that would be productive, a learning experience and encourage a meaningful interaction! Ho hum, I started thinking about our latest RDI objective and how I have been incorporating the concept of easy and hard, whilst making juice and regulating the water flow from a tap.
Water! Dog! That's it..... when we get to the beach we can give the dog a drink of water. In my car I have an old ice-cream container and an old juice bottle full of water. I think of different scenarios to spotlight that what we are doing is *easy*. Generally, when we get to the beach, Nick takes off his shoes and stands there waiting for me to get organised. I wondered how he would react when I invited him to help me. I decided that Nick's role would be that of holding the container while I poured the water into it. He could then put the container on the ground! Yay, success! Nick responded to my invitation to help and he found the experience very easy. I spoke about how *easy* it was and then we all traipsed onto the beach. Okay... to tell the truth, Nick tentatively put one foot in front of the other and the dog immediately started sniffing the ground and munching on all sorts of delights (think the dog is going to feel very sorry for himself later!).
As the dog continued to explore his territory and Nick plonks himself down on the nearest log, I start thinking about what we have just done and mull over my next step. Hmm, I now need to spotlight that what we are doing is harder than what we did before. Again, I ponder over this... if we were to swap roles, how was Nick going to cope with taking the lid off the juice bottle and pouring the water into the container. Let's face it, his motor planning is not the best! In the end, I thought "why not".... this would actually be the perfect example for *hard*.
As we walk back to the car, I talk about the dog and how he will need some water, especially after eating that very dodgy fish head! Nick doesn't give me any indication that he has heard me, although when we reach the car, Nick went to collect the container (that I had left under the car). Nice one, Nick!
Oops, no water! I take the juice bottle out of the car and give it to Nick. I then take the container and wait. I don't say anything as I want Nick to reference me for information. I want to see if he can decide what the next course of action is. I don't want to prompt him in any way!
Nick turns the bottle upside down, over the container! Nothing happens, so I say, "ah, no water!". He pauses then decides to pull up the nozzle of the juice bottle. Still no water. Now it would be very easy for me to tell him what to do, BUT, I want him to figure it out for himself. Again, he pulls out the nozzle a bit more and then holds the bottle over the container.. nothing happens. (Nick doesn't realise that he can squeeze the bottle). I wait patiently, giving him the time to think about his next plan of action. I spotlight "oh no, this is hard to do". He realizes that the water isn't coming out and he stops. Within a few seconds, he has turned the bottle upright, taken off the lid and poured the water into the container! Fantastic, I am delighted that he has figured it out for himself. He did find it hard, however, he persevered and he was successful.
Yay, go Nick!
Another nice memory to store in the bank.
As for me.... my mind is onto the next challenge. How can I extend on what we have done? Was there something I noticed during the interaction? What activity can I plan to emphasis the difference between easy and hard? What framework can I write up for a really effective *engagement*.
Aha, Nick didn't know that he could squeeze the bottle to get the water to come out. There we have it, our next goal. This one will not be done *on the fly*. I will be writing up a framework sheet for a planned engagement.
Now, this is why I like spontaneous interactions. As we go about our day to day business, an opportunity may occur that I can take advantage of. I do put a lot of thought into what I want to achieve, I just don't write up a framework sheet. I like the fact that our informal interactions open up possibilities and give me food for thought.
Upwards and onwards!