Now that our youngest is in toddlerhood, I find myself quantifying his development. Of course, I'm an educator, but I'm a Montessorian and, more importantly, his mother--at the very least, I should be qualifying his vast development. His older brother and sister were in school at his age, so each time they came home, their developmental strides were noticeable (due to the 8-10 hour hiatus from home). Number three is a stay-at-home-bro with two remotely, working parents, so we have more contact time with him. What a tremendous blessing it is to have this time--especially while I write this, and he is sprinkling the floor with his rice and beans :) The dark side to this venture has manifested as impatience.
I know, I know... I'm breaking the Montessori-creed: Thou shalt recognize that each child (even your own) is different! It's hard though! He's 18 months old, said to be completely healthy and thriving but not walking--#1 and #2 we're almost sprinting by 15 months old, and that was "late." As always, I suddenly changed my tune as I was graced by the Montessori Angels of Wisdom--that don't exist. Here's the rundown:
Monday, November 8, 2021:
Three kids and eight years in the making an epiphany occurred this weekend: get up earlier in the morning. Before you immediately turn the other way, hear me out.
Our mornings, like so many other families, are a whirlwind. We wake up to middle brother climbing over us in the bed, ready for his snuggles and his latest broadcast of the previous night's dreams. After 20 minutes or so, we send him off to do his morning routine, wake up #1 and #3, meet downstairs for breakfast (and by that, I mean the kids sitting down to a full meal while Jeremy and I get everything else ready to get out the door), do the kids' hair, and sprint out the door with my bowl of oatmeal and banana in hand. It's crazy! Some mornings are woven with shouts of frustration from both #teamkiddo and #teamparents.
For whatever reason, "falling back" an hour has gifted our family with a mindset shift. My internal clock is still in Daylight Savings Land, so I'm stuck in what I used to think of as purgatory for 2-3 weeks. However, something strange happened. In going to bed at a decent time and waking up at 4:50 a.m., I have started to take time for myself to spiritually prepare for the day. Then, by 5:30, I wake up Jeremy to join me in this time. By 5:50, we're up, brushing the yaws, as my mom calls them--morning breath, that is--away, and ready to receive the slipper-footed dinosaur stomps down the hall by #2! When we put ourselves in the child's shoes, eager to get out of bed to snuggle with Mom and Dad and start the day, it's easier to want to prepare ourselves for this, instead of shooing him away to selfishly squeeze in more sleep that won't come. In the embarrassingly countless times that we have done the latter, he repeatedly came back every five minutes, destroyed his room, woke up #1 (which is just asking for a kick in the face), and ended up frustrated and defeated by the time my feet hit the floor, 20 minutes later. We're two days into this, so I'm hopeful this maintains consistency. But here's the win-win: Jeremy and I both start the day together (as opposed to looking at each other for the first time once the kids go to sleep), we are present to help the kids get ready without the stressors of forgetting to deodorize, the kids get more attention to their needs, we ALL eat breakfast before leaving, and we walk out of the door--dare I say--5 minutes before time to leave. I know obstacles are pressing on the horizon, but I also am more prepared to face them.
... Now it's your turn*
*(In the Montessori classroom, at the end of showing a child a lesson, we look at him/her and say, "Now it's your turn." This invitation allows the child to independently repeat what you modeled).