The twins are now two years old and change. They’ve learned that words are power, and they are acquiring power at an exponential rate, in English and Chinese. Once they acquire a new system for structuring their world, it becomes their obsession. They learned shapes, and now they see shapes everywhere and name them constantly. The same with numbers. A ride in an elevator is suddenly more meaningful when you know numbers. We haven’t gotten into colors yet, but I know it will be the same.
Personally I think it’s good to let the world stay blobby as long as you can. Why rush to structure everything? So I don’t push any of these until the girls show interest, then we go as crazy with it as they want. The only system I’ve recently started pushing, albeit very lightly, is letters. That’s because reading is… well, it’s reading.
Speaking of which, I’m going to be at the IBBY Regional Conference this weekend. IBBY = International Board on Books for Young People (the “P” is silent). This organization interests me greatly because it’s about children’s books on an international scale. Building metaphorical bridges and such, which is very much aligned with my interests.
And not too shabby either is the fact that Shaun Tan (The Arrival, Wall-E) and Katherine Paterson (Bridge to Terabithia) will be there. Katherine Paterson has been a hero of mine since I was a kid, and Shaun Tan has recently become a hero. Interestingly, Shaun is Australian of Chinese decent and Katherine was born in China. I hope I get a chance to meet them.