Teaching in the Bloodline ...

by Kristi Van Dyk in

Our family is inundated with teachers ... Great Grandpa Van Dyk taught at Calvin Seminary, Aunt Leanne teaches at Western Seminary. Grandpa Van Dyk is a principal and Grandma Van Dyk a teacher. Aunt Maria is a teacher. Grammy Creswell is a teacher. Although his period of teaching was brief, Grandpa Creswell was one for a time. And of course, Mommy and Daddy are both teachers who tend to hang out with other people who are also, teachers. Kayleigh is surrounded by people who are trained educators. I, by no means expect this to rub off on her. In fact, I'd likely expect that she do the opposite since she's so completely surrounded by it. BUT ... this morning's activities gave me a moment to pause. Before I relay my newest "dialogue" I want to say that I have been WAITING for this day since I conceived Benjamin. I was waiting for the chance to share an interaction based entirely between my two children ... for their "conversations" between each other. I never expected it to happen so early ... and, in truth, it probably doesn't count as "conversation." But, for me, it fulfilled the longing I had to hear my children communicate together.

So without further ado, I present, "Kayleigh, the teacher."

Benjamin woke from his morning nap quite interested in babbling. So, as I was folding laundry with Kayleigh, I was talking to him. Looking at his smiling, cherub like face and chanting, "Mama .... Mama ... Dadda ... Dadda ... SISTER ... SISTER..." He was continuing to babble away, repeating his usual garble with a smile brighter than the sun.

As I left to put the laundry away, Kayleigh descended from her perch on the dining room table and plunked herself squarely in front of Benjamin. Here is what transpired:

Kayleigh: "Benny brother you need to say MA-MA! Say MA-MA!" Benny: (After repeated squeals of delight at the proximity of his sister) MMMMMMA MA MA MA! (He's been doing this for days) Kayleigh: "Good job Benny boy. Now you have to say DA-DA Say DA-DA!!" Benny (I had never heard the D consonant before from him): DDDD-DDDA DA DA DA DA DA (Repeated squeals of laughter). Kayleigh: "Good ... now you have to count to 10 ... like this 1, 2, 3, (etc at lightning speed)." Benny: "DA DA DA DA DA ..." Kayleigh: "Okay ... Keep trying a little bit."  (Running to Mom in the other room). Mommy, I teached Benny to say Mommy, Daddy and count to 10."

I'm not certain I'm going to call Benjamin a talker ... but as evidenced by his "spitting" video, he is exceptional at repeating what is given to him. And he delights in learning it ... especially from his favorite teacher, Kayleigh.