Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ari Funnies

Seeing as how today is Thanksgiving, I'll start with that story. Monday morning Ari told me, for the first time this school year, that she did not want to go to school. I told her that this would be a very short week because of Thanksgiving. I explained what Thanksgiving and I told her that I am thankful for my family, our home, etc., etc. Her response: I am very thankful for my mommy! And I am very thankful for my mommy's boobies! I guess that is what happens when you do extended breastfeeding and/or child-led weaning! Don't worry; she knows these conversations only happen at home!

I am a fan of eating with my fingers. And I am not afraid to admit it! Same goes for my child! Daddy, on the other hand, often tells us that we are barbarians! The other day Ari was having pancakes for breakfast. Suddenly, she informed her dad that "I'm going to be a barbarian now because it's easier!" I was so proud! And Daddy rolled his eyes, I'm sure!

Lastly, we have a hair stylist and a trend-setter in the family! Arianna gave herself a haircut the other day. I will admit that I was quite mythed at the time. She has long, gorgeous hair and I love combing it every morning! But, whatever. Most children do this, even kids with very short hair. Those with short hair will find someone with long hair and help her/him do it! That is what my brother and sister did, anyways!

I need to take pictures and share them! She now has multiple lengths near her left ear!

What mischievous thing has your child done recently?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Work Share

Last Thursday was Work Share day for Ari's classroom. I got to spend the first half hour of the school day with her. Unfortunately, Daddy got to stay in the car to avoid sharing germs. The germs most likely came from the classroom, but never you mind that.

We got to work on two different activities. The first activity was described to me as "pressure cylinders." We worked on it on one of the typical Montessori floor rugs. There were about ten wooden cylinders, each one with a knob on it. She pushed down on each knob, would analyze and remember what type of pressure she sensed and would find the matching cylinder.

The second activity turned out to be many activities lumped into one. Ari got a small sheet of paper, a color pencil and a triangle inset. She used the inset to trace a perfect triangle. She then returned the inset and came back with the "push pin" activity.

The "push pin activity" was fascinating in various ways, I felt like. There was a tray. There was a thin sponge. There was a thumb tack in a tiny basket. Ari placed a paper on the sponge. She poked holes on the paper, following the lines of the triangle. Once she traced the entire triangle, she ripped it out. I found this activity to be particularly fascinating. It kept Ari engaged for quite a while. Stuff you could get at the dollar store! Who needs fancy toys when you're four?!

This is where it gets super cute! Ari said that she was saving the triangle for Daddy, that it would be a special surprise, that she would give it to him when she came home. Why? Because when people are sick, giving them hugs and cards makes them feel a little better. She proceeded to draw on it for a while. She later gave it to her dad.

We love Work Share days! I get a glimpse of what is going on in the classroom, what she is currently drawn to. She gets to show us, often beaming, what she is currently working on, what her latest accomplishments are. For example, during one of the work share days in October, we got to see her do the "100 board." She is fascinated by numbers and counting at the moment.

Article: Myth: Punishments and Rewards Are Effective Ways of Reinforcing Desired Behaviors.

Just something to think about:

Since I'm sharing the idea that rewards don't work in the long-term, I better give you an article that tells you just what the hell to do instead, right?! I will, maybe next year, but I will!!!

Article: 40 Ways to Show Your Child Love

Some great ideas in this article. Check it out!

What do I do/what will I be doing today to show that cute kid our love?
Snuggle when she first wakes up

Make her the chocolate waffles she has been requesting

Hug/kiss her when I pick her up at school

Tell her that, yes, we have a few minutes and so she can play at the playground another five minutes

Play a game on the ride home

Remind myself to spend one-on-one time with her, perhaps doing artwork or making pizza out of playdough

get her involved when I'm preparing dinner.

Snuggle and read stories before bed

What sorts of things do you typically do with your kids? What do you hope to do today to show him/her you love him/her to pieces?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Just a mama reflecting after a hard day...

Nothing like a hard day to get me to write…

The day has only been going downhill. All of us have been getting through a lovely chest cold. Usually my colds are mild; this one is making my asthma act up, something that, typically, only happens if I spend an hour at a house with cats.

Let me backtrack for a minute. I just got through a head cold. Ari had the head cold and a stomach bug. We were well for all of three-five days. Gotta love preschool classrooms!

Chest cold or not, laundry needs to get done, groceries need to be bought, the child needs to be picked up from school, etc., etc. My mother and I picked Ari up at school. We had been in the car for all of about five minutes when she said, in a whining tone, something like "grandma has had a long turn. I want a turn too." Ok, no big deal. I like time to reconnect with my child after school, too. But, wait, why the whining? And, wait, she was busy having her snack. She never communicated that she wanted to talk. I figured I'd give her some time. She is always hungry when I pick her up.

The minute the whining begins I find myself feeling fairly frustrated. It is probably a combination of the fact that I feel lousy, that I have a horrible headache and that Ari and Grandma aren't getting along and I can't figure out how to make it better. Ari doesn't want to talk to her. She is rude about it at times. Grandma's way of dealing with her is very different than mine. She either snaps and makes angry gestures or cries. There is no in between. Now, that happens. We're human. I'm having one of those moments right this second. But, for goodness' sakes, the kid is four and grandma is almost 50. Who is the grownup here? How about we spend some time reading/educating ourselves/trying a new strategy seeing as how the current one isn't working?

Moving on... I talk to Ari about being kind. But I do a pathetic job hiding my frustration. So, what does she say? "Mommy, you're yelling at me. You yell at me all the time."

Wait, what? What did she say? Did she really say that? Yes, she did. Mama is sick, tired and frustrated. Mama was so sad. Mama almost felt heartbroken. I am well aware that I am nowhere near perfect. But if there is something I work very hard at and something that I am very passionate about it is to treat that little girl right, with love, with respect, setting boundaries in a way that will not have a negative impact on our relationship. I think the last time I actually yelled at her she had just turned two. By "yell" she means that I sounded incredibly frustrated, snappy.

All this is no big deal, really. Tomorrow will be a new day. I will feel better. We will talk about whatever comes up and everything will be fine. But, for a while there I really did feel sad.

What to do about it? I gave myself time to feel angry. I gave myself time to feel sad. I realized that a few hours had gone by and I was still feeling that sense of disconnection. I decided to fake it until I felt it. I gave her a long hug. I do want to talk about it and I will, but I will wait until I don't have a splitting headache.