The Baby is Now in School

It may only be two days a week. Of those two days, it may be for less than four hours a time. Even still, I feel like my tiny one has grown up in some big, important way.

first-day-of-schoolRowan began going to Montessori a couple weeks ago, and it hasn’t taken him long to get over the initial shock of being in a room full of toddlers and no mamas.

Griffin also has grown in that time, acting as a model big brother throughout the entire process. He meets me in the toddler room and helps to put Rowan’s indoor shoes on, telling him it will all be ok. He even sings the little song we made up when Griffin was in Rowan’s situation:

Mama Comes Back,

Daddy Comes Home,

We Have Fun at Schoo-oo-ool!

(No one said the song was going to win any awards.)

Looking back on his first day, most of what I can remember is that I woke up with a migraine. After dropping him off, worrying that he just wasn’t going to be able to handle being away from me and feeling nauseous the entire car ride home, I got into the bed, pulled the covers over my face, and tried to sleep off the headache. The few hours he was in school was vital for me to survive the migraines which have been longer and stronger lately.

Since then, Rowan’s been eating more for snacks and lunches when he’s there, cuddling up with the teachers, and doing so much independent work that Mrs. Heather has a hard time snapping pictures to document it because he’s always on the move.

I would call that quick progress!

Preschool Has Begun, and So Has My Writing

My tiny little baby started Preschool yesterday. I am so in love with this school, and I think Finn will be, as well!

photo 5For him, this is a time to learn how to play with children, become comfortable with adults other than family members, and explore. The Montessori curriculum is so amazing at fostering independence – even on the first day of school he was setting out his own dishes, being assisted with pouring water, and sitting at a children’s table with others as everyone had a meal.

photo 1

photo 3What this means for me is time to work on my grad school thesis, as well as do a bit of writing for myself! Ah, the freedom of listening to a podcast while writing these words.

Friends, I want to apologize for not making time in this last season. We all get busy, but for me, this is not only a personal journal mixed with a bit of therapy; it’s my creative outlet. It’s also something I need to hold myself accountable for, because I have started projects (such as the 52 project) and then fail to see it through to the end. I refuse to be a person that doesn’t finish the things they start – even if it’s a project on my own blog.

So expect more from me, and more pictures courtesy of his wonderful teacher!

The Most Interesting Baby in Nashville

A few weeks ago I tried something I had seen in one of the Montessori books I’ve been reading – I gave Griffin a real glass as opposed to a sippy cup.

He needed something his own size, though. Something that would fit snugly in his hands as he cupped them and lifted the glass to his mouth. What could fit the bill? A shot glass.

Drinking

Drinking2It was perfect! Everyone present was actually shocked that it worked. He picked it up, bought it to his mouth, and drank the few drops I had put in the glass. When it was empty, I poured a few more, and he repeated the process. Montessori was absolutely right – we don’t give our babies nearly the amount of credit they deserve.

That’s not saying he didn’t spill anything. We guided him at times when he fumbled a bit. But all in all, he knew what to do with the Griffin-sized glass, and he was SO proud of himself.

I posted the picture on Facebook, and it sparked some lively discussion. The original caption I added was:

“He doesn’t always drink water, but when he does he prefers to use a shot glass.”

From there, friends and family chimed in with their own quips.

“Griffin once crawled a race backwards…just to see what second place looked like.”

“His pampers rarely get soiled. Gerber gets his opinion on new foods. His spittle has medicinal value.”

“Elvis once reported sighting him. He has been exempted from Obamacare simply because he frowned. When he eats, he does not require a bib. All of his piggies have roast beef and go weeeee all the way home.”

“He is – the most interesting baby in Nashville.”

I absolutely had to post these – I have some very creative friends! Above anything else though, I think we all need to realize that babies are up for the challenge; we just have to present it to them. I discovered that he doesn’t necessarily require a sippy cup during meals, and that’s just one less thing he will have to transition away from. Let’s lessen some of the steps our children have to go through. Sometimes the best way to get to something is to just jump right in and do it.

Vote

The Case for Allowing Babies to be Babies

A Facebook friend posted this article, and it really hit home with me. Babies should be allowed to explore and learn on their own, at their own pace, in their own way!

It seems that this complete obsession that the Western world (specifically Americans) have with education and learning at younger and younger ages hasn’t really paid off…after all, aren’t American high school stats ranked among some of the worst?

I love the thought of allowing my child creativity and individual thought. This finding in particular really stuck out: “Direct instruction made the children less curious and less likely to discover new information.”

I want my child to realize that he can discover and learn on his own through exploration – he doesn’t constantly need someone to show him how it should be done beforehand.

So when should learning in a professional environment begin? Jeremy and I have talked briefly about pre-school – specifically Montessori-type instruction. But should this begin at 2, as is becoming the norm? Perhaps if preschool allows for creativity, as many Montessori schools tend to do, this will remain on the table. I’ll have to allow my child to explore first before I make a decision.