It’s Learning Time

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The infant brain is like a sponge. Perhaps a “reverse-aging” sponge; one that goes from an old rock-like form that struggles to soak up new content, to a new porous sponge that soaks up most everything thrown at it.

On the sponge spectrum, our girls (at this age) have rapidly swung to the latter camp in the last few weeks.  You can watch their minds churning with new ideas and trying to understand the world around them.  While they are now more than a year old and lapping the seasons, this is the first spring where they are able to crawl/ walk and explore their surroundings.   Even the simplest of things they are taking in for the first time.

It is obvious they are picking up on things quickly as their reactions and responses to us indicate that they are learning.  As I mentioned in my sign language posts, the girls are very quick to pick up on new signs as this point.  They are also repeating several words that we frequently say, so now more than ever, it is important to be careful what is said around them.

One additional downfall is that their attention spans have shortened.  You have about 60 seconds of attentiveness before something else is going to catch their eye.  Previously, when I came home from work, I would sit on the couch with about 5 books and the girls would flock to me for reading time.  They would sit on my lap and help turn the pages as we strolled through all 5 books.  Now, that has changed significantly.  The first part is still the same where they are eager to sit on dad’s lap as soon as I pick up a book.  But at this point, after about 3 pages, I have two squirmy tots that cannot wait to get down on the floor and continue their adventures.

Without further ado, let’s take a quick look at a couple of the simplest items the girls have recently learned:

Zoo Animals

We took the girls to the zoo this past weekend to enjoy the beautiful weather with them.  It was a fantastic day for that.

On a couple of trips to the zoo last year, the girls were too small to understand what was going on.  It was rarely indicative that they even noticed an animal.  This time, they were immediately pointing out the animals.  But the confusion on their face was priceless.  The tots had seen the zoo animals in the countless books we had read to them, but this is the first time they were seeing them in “real life.”  They would look at the animal, then point at it, look back at us with bewilderment, and then keep looking back and forth.  Cari and I loved watching their reactions as they attempted to comprehend what was happening.

Here are a couple of pics:

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The polar bear was one of the first animals we saw.  The girls pressed right up against the glass and watched his every move.  Unfortunately, we just missed the opportunity to check out the newborn polar bear that came out earlier in the day.

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Here we are with Carolyn’s brother’s girlfriend, Devon.  She did great with the girls.  The enclosure behind us was a little confusing as there were ostriches mixed in with giraffes and zebras in the distance.  

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On our brief visit, we strolled through North America, Africa, and Asia.  Above, you can see the red panda, bald eagle, and giraffe.  The girls were able to spot all of the animals at the zoo with the exception of the bald eagle as it was high in the enclosure.  During our trip, they also saw the brown bears, lions, cheetahs, elephants, and tiger.

 

Walking Outdoors

Weird to think about, but the twins just had their first opportunity to crawl/ walk in the grass this past weekend.  On Saturday, their outfits got very dirty from playing in the grass and dirt.  So on Sunday, we caked on the sunscreen and let them peruse the backyard with only their diapers.  They loved it!  As indicative from the “best” picture I was able to take (below), they were constantly on the move.  Cari and I were cracking up watching them play for about an hour.

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Along with moving them outdoors as summer nears, the girls are now wearing shoes for the first time.  A funny adjustment to witness.  Maybe we were abnormal, but we always just kept the girls in socks when venturing out of the house.  Now that the girls are walking, shoes are an essential part of their outfits.

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In summary, as I watch the girls development day by day, it is enjoyable to watch them learn about everything from zoo animals to playing outdoors.

 

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