Joining in with Ginny's Yarn Along.
I just love Noro yarn for small projects like this Puerperium Cardigan (pattern available for free on Ravelry). Watching each color bloom into the next is like watching the sun set, gazing into a tulip, or wondering at a rainbow. It's hard to tell where one colour ends and the next begins, but the overall effect is magical. A soft rainbow sweater seems to be the perfect welcoming gift for a brand-new soul, encompassing all the mystery and beauty of life in this world.
I got Playful Parenting by Lawrence J. Cohen through interlibrary loan (my new favourite thing). My husband has taken on the role of Playful Parent, wrestling, swordfighting, slap-fighting (don't ask), playing board games, and so on, while I get on with the busyness of running a household. I need to get my play muscles back in shape (I was an expert at it when I was a child)! What's nice about this book is that it isn't about the harm parents can do their children by doing x or not doing y. It offers joyful, practical ways to play in small and large ways to foster trust, emotional support, and fun in your relationship with your child.
It also reminds us that we can get our children to do the things we want (e.g. putting their shoes on to go to the library) by being playful about it, instead of just giving directives. It works! The other day Margot ran away from me as she always does while I was trying to put her hair in a ponytail. Usually I'd count to three (or some other lame, desperate tactic to get her to return), but instead I told her I'd put my (very short) hair in pigtails instead. She ran back giggling, and stood in place. I was happy, she was happy. Sometimes we just need a little reminder!
I'll be starting a course in a week to work towards becoming officially "qualified" to teach Kindergarten, so I've dug out some of my old education books. The Art of Teaching Writing by Lucy Calkins is considered a classic, and is very readable. It rings true after 20+ years: teach the writer, and the writing will come. I came out of a school system that marked up children's writing with red pen pointing out all the mistakes. I remember how thrilling it was to me as a young teacher to use purple and pink pen to encourage my students' writing rather than cut it up with criticism. 16 years later, and I'm still passionate about my work. I'm blessed!
We've really enjoyed Giant Tree and the Boy, a poignant tale of a tree's life cycle and the legacy we leave our children by planting seeds. And Spoon is silly and charming, like my Krouse Rosethal's Little Pea. Simple illustrations and cute stories to make the kids and grown ups giggle. Win win!
What are you reading and knitting these days?