This week I began thinking seriously about what it will mean to this family to home school. Smootch has managed to avoid all but three months of public school. We have always included Smootch in the conversation about what form her (and our) education will take, and she has not been shy in letting us know how she feels. Having been in a Montessori preschool and then at home, Smootch has taken an active dislike of the the rigid structure at the school. My grandmother might say she was spoiled by being trusted to know when she is hungry, tired, or energetic, and allowed to take care of her own needs by eating, resting, or playing outside when wants. But we are working on grandma.
This week a book arrived in the mail. I do not often get new books to keep, most of my reading material comes from the library or borrowed from others, but I had myself a gift certificate, so I ordered a (used) copy one of my favorite books ever. I had to get my own copy because I read her books whenever I am feeling a little lost with my babies. Susan Striker is so over the top brilliant. She encourages us to do the most outrageous things, such as letting the toddler play in the toilet bowl or having the preschoolers check out each others penises and vaginas, but by the time she is done explaining, I am nodding along too. It is all about getting us all in the habit of using our own minds. The most fantastic thing about Striker is that she encourages us to trust our children. Trust them to get along and do what they need to do. My job is to take two steps back, sit with a cup of tea, and just observe.
I can handle that.
But this week I feel, unusually, like I can handle a lot of things. I am attributing that mostly to my new ninja boots. You can do anything when you are wearing tabi boots, they are so comfortable, and, when looking down on your feet, so very different looking than my usual foot wear that I actually experience a little jar from reality.
That little visual poke says, things are not always what they seem, is enough sometimes to encourage a new perspective and bring new energy to the moment. And, for me especially, to remember that there is a present moment that needs paying attention to.
This week I also got to wear some beautiful work from Carleens Creations. We traded, my patterns for her earrings.
Once upon a time I was a little afraid of swaps, worried about the vague edge of not having an absolute value (dollar amount) applied to my time or product or theirs. I used to fear the potential conflict in that haziness and thought that it might separate me from them. Participating in a few craft swaps through Craftster helped me realize that it was the artificial application of a numerical value that separates us, and that within the vaguarities our connection is actually found. Thanks Carleen, I love my new earrings!
This week Smootch and I learned how to knit. Just knit (a garter stitch), no purling or anything more complicated than making a sheet of knotted yarn, but it was a grand achievement for both of us.
To help Smootch learn, I actually sat her in my lap and held her hands in mine (which is pretty hard to photograph) while I went through the motions, self talking where necessary, and after awhile her hands stopped resisting my movements and began to anticipate the next move. Soon, Smootch was doing parts of the stitch all by herself and, when she was ready, she said, mom let go, and I did! Then she knit all by herself. I can not tell you how proud I am of both of us: Smootch for knitting, and me for letting go.
To keep Birdie busy while Smootch and I played with needles, I cast some stitches onto a pencil and let him practice on his own, trying very hard not to mind how badly he was tangling up the yarn I planned to use on my own project.
The whole thing kept him busy for a total of 36 seconds. For now, Smootch and I are keeping the knitting restricted to his nap time. Thank goodness that boy still sleeps during the day (having not yet getting the hang of sleeping at night).
And that is really that. I feel almost like did nothing. Smootch has taken an interest in preparing lunch, so other then some chopping, she does most of it.
I have not had to come up with any activity ideas, since Birdie demands to go see trains whenever we have a spare moment. I think it was a pretty smart move of us to locate to a town where there is a train museum, yes?
The word train, just so you know if you ever come by, is the T-word here. Otherwise, if you actually say it out loud, you get:
Train? TRAIN! Train! Train! Train! Train! Train! Train! Train! Train! Train!
And one strong little boy will grab your arm and attempt to drag you outside to the street to maybe see a train go by at the end of the block. You never say the T-word if you are in your pajamas. Still, I am sure the neighbors are getting used to my palm tree pajama bottoms.
Hope you all had a nice and boring week too :)