02 January 2012

The genius of "Nana"

From very early in my life, I always knew that my Mother was extremely creative.  After all, since she was a teacher of 1st & 2nd graders, she needed to show mad skillz at getting them to pay attention and learn something so that they didn't end up being a bunch of tools later in life.

I've been amazed at how, even after 30+ years since early retirement, she continues to use those skills to help teach and open up a world of knowledge to her Little Prince, her grandson, my son, Aidan.

Two years ago, I laughed out loud at seeing the appearance of construction paper cut out into cars, airplanes and other creative shapes for Aidan to put stickers onto or to color or to do whatever he wanted with them.  They were the exact same cut-outs that she used with my brother and I when we were little and with her students.  The templates were originally cut out of manila folders and she STILL has them.

But she's also had some "new tricks" up her sleeves that update methods she used back in the day.

The newest one takes the cake though:

We've already instilled a strong sense of "saving" into Aidan.  He has his own savings account at our local bank, he has a piggy bank that he puts spare change into weekly, and he participates in the "bank at school" program that our bank has with The Goddard School which he attends.

My parents are also headed back to Florida tomorrow and so their contact with Aidan will now be limited to phone calls and/or Internet video calls on the weekends.  He has made it infinitely clear that he didn't want Nana & Papa to go back to Florida because he was going to miss them and all the fun that they have together.  He said that he was going to be sad about it.  It's always a teary time for my Mom when she says goodbye to Aidan when they won't see each other for more than a week.  Waterworks flow.

It's with all of this in mind that she's created a nifty counting/savings/calendar technique to help ease the pain of the distance between she and Aidan.  She gave him a roll of pennies last night.  She told him that when he got home, to put 6 pennies into his "money bank" and then each morning thereafter, to put one more penny into the bank.  Not only does he make some money but when he gets down to the last penny left and he puts it into his bank, THAT is the day we pack up the car and head off to Florida on vacation.

Today was the first morning and he ran right to the bank and reminded me to help him get one penny out of the roll.  It's going to kill him to still wait 43 more days, but at least he'll know we're getting closer.

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