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Showing posts from July, 2020

Attempting to Set Up a Functioning Playroom for Clark

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You guys, I finally re-put together Montessori shelves for Clark, using what I already have. I also put together a whole playroom. I decided to do it in our office. Mostly because I realized that I would rather have toys out on the floor in the office than in the living room. It's actually amazing to never have toys strewn around the living room. The other reason is that Colton and I have been working more while Clark is awake, and Clark likes being close to us while we work. I thought it was appropriate to put his Work in the same room where we do our work. And so far it is quite cozy, in a good way. The pieces fill out the room and they look right, where they would get swallowed up in the vastness of the living room. But I also have SUCH a hard time making decisions about it. For example, should I put the kitchen in the playroom or in the kitchen? I know Montessori parents love putting a play kitchen in their kitchen so that their children have their own place to prepare food, bu

Respectful (and Easier) Diaper Changes

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When I read Janet Lansbury's book Elevating Childcare , I came to understand this idea of diaper changes being something enjoyable for parent and child because it is a moment of care and connection. Now when I put Clark's nighttime diaper on him, I talk him through it, telling him each step and where I am going to touch him, and it worked. He was entranced.  I must have lost something though because now it ceased working all the time and he fights it sometimes.   Then sometimes I say, "Do you want to do it fast or slow? Let's do it fast." This I got from my sister in law, who I think got the idea from the Love and Logic for Early Childhood book. That will usually secure his attention for a few more seconds. Otherwise, he is probably hungry, overtired  or cold when he fights it. I highly encourage all parents to read the Elevating Childcare book by Janet Lansbury, because it totally transformed the way that I see care of a baby.

Developing Compassion for Whiny Toddlers

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A few months ago, my husband and I watched the BBC 2009 version of Jane Austen's Emma. One of the classic quotes from it is when Alex Knightley is scolding Emma about making fun of Miss Bates, their poor, elderly unmarried neighbor. He tells Emma something like, "She deserves your compassion, not your contempt, because she is not your equal." This quote struck me once when Clark was screaming a lot one morning and really getting on my nerves. I wanted to make fun of him to Colton and roll my eyes at his behavior. But then I thought, "He deserves your compassion, not your contempt, because he is not your equal." After all, there is so much he cannot do without me, even down to getting food and water if he is hungry, up to going outside if he is stir crazy. He never deserves my contempt, he always deserves my compassion.  I still have to remind myself of this regularly.  Poor little bug is still teething a lot. Also, look at those pillow arms 😍

Respectful (and Easier) Toddler Face Wiping

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After I wrote my recent post about being a mediocre parent, including not keeping Clark's face clean, I somehow became mildly determined to keep his face clean. I didn't have to think about it very much. Somehow writing down something that I was dissatisfied with, gave me the energy to make a change. In the spirit of Respectful Parenting and Magda Gerber (see the book Elevating Childcare by Janet Lansbury), I also had a desire to clean Clark's face more respectfully, out of empathy towards him. I also realized that the reason I dreaded cleaning his face was because of my negative gut reaction to his loud protests when I did. And so... Instead of wiping Clarks face, I have started dabbing his face. Which I realized is what makeup experts tell us we are all supposed to do when we clean our adult faces anyway. We are not supposed to rub our delicate face skin, but merely dab. So of course I would want to dab, not rub my baby's skin. So now I tell Clark, "I'm going

I am a Mediocre Parent.

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I don't know this, but I feel like some people might see some of the things I do as a parent and feel bad about themselves. For example, I used cloth diapers, I started potty training Clark at 18 months, I sometimes set up Montessori things for him. I was thinking the other day of all the things I'm terrible at: Keeping his face clean ("It's just going to get messy again") Keeping his car seat clean (before I had kids I was appalled at how disgusting people let car seats get) Putting pants back on him after he wets them. Keeping him fed (I am getting better at this one, but it has been a struggle). Making sure his outfit matches the temperature (our AC makes both him and me freezing indoors all summer). Yelling at him repeatedly when I am tired or hungry and he does something I have told him not to do, or he is whining. Bathing him more than once or twice a week, maybe less, sometimes I don't keep track (this is the most embarrassing one) Leaving him in the fr

I Made a DIY Play Tunnel From Laundry Baskets

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I finally cut the bottoms out of our old college laundry baskets so Clark could use them as a tunnel. He LOVED them. Mostly as chimneys to climb in and out of and pop his head out of :) I think I might have to attach them to emphasize the tunnel. As you can see, he also loved putting toys inside them.