Nic spent most of his computer time Friday, and some Saturday, playing zoo tycoon.

I’ve seen increasing sophistication in his actions as he goes along. Whereas in the beginning he was just creating exhibits, popping in animals & spending his budget with reckless abandon, now he’s thinking it through more.

Although, just like his Papa, he’s prone to jumping in without regard for those pesky instruction sheets, he’s learning as he goes. Nic doesn’t enjoy reading & only does it when trial and error fails him. He’s actually getting to be a pretty proficient reader, even surprising himself with what he can read these days.

Anyway, he’s being much more strategic now as he’s building zoos. I hear him saying to himself things like, “start small, get visitors coming in & use their entrance fees to buy more & build more.” Even though it’s all pretend, he takes it seriously when an animal is unhappy. He is reading the ‘zookeeper recommendations’ to determine what habitat modifications are called for.

He’s also becoming more shrewd about his budget and not over-spending & putting the animals in jeopardy. When he ran out of money & the zoo-keepers couldn’t get their salaries, that really bothered him.

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Theo’s continuing on his emergent-reader path. It’s pretty clear that reading will be more natural to him. I was reading at 4, and he’s showing that same schedule.

It’s hard for me to restrain myself. I want to encourage him to move on with writing & beginning phonics…but my job is to stay out of his way. Theo is a very independant spirit & doesn’t respond positively to any type of pressure. Leaving Theo to work it out for himself — both in content & timing — is the only way. He can & will ask for participation (frequently) and help (rarely) when he’s interested.

Theo seems much less dependant upon the approval of others than Nic. He seems to have been born with a personal gyroscope that is unwavering, It keeps him on-course regardless of what’s going on around him. Maddening at times for his parents — but a wonderful sense-of-self, nonetheless.

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Winnie continues to explore every corner of her world — crawling is her passion.

She has been saying ‘ma-ma-ma’ to call me for a while now; this weekend she added ‘br-br-br’ to call to her brothers.

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