Not a week goes by where I don’t see a couple of posts on Facebook about clothing. A genuine concern from a complaining mom. Her unhappiness with the manufacturers of children’s clothing. Usually girls clothing. Upset mom’s been shopping but has come home empty handed. And angry. Why? Because some little girls clothing offered has become too grownup, too suggestive, and mom doesn’t want her kid wearing that crap. I notice this ‘kids growing up’ way too fast in a lot of areas. Yet when you talk about it to parents most say it’s gotta stop. Let little kids be kids for awhile.
|Jovi Marie, 18 months. Wearing totally appropriate clothing and wearing it well…|
We have a staff meeting 2 hours a month, always at night, right after the last child leaves and we’re closed. Classes on various subjects dealing with children. Everything from being an advocate for all children, CPR, discipline, to community outreach for kids. We’ve been working on a long series right now on conscious discipline. The speaker has a great sense of humor and I’ve enjoyed her take on young children. A large clip of her last class was encouraging teachers to let our small children play. Yup, it’s that simple. Our kids are spending too much time with the iPad, in front of the tv, in organized sports and activities at a very young age, but not spending enough time playing in the rain. It seems as though mud, rain, sand, playing in the grass is actually good for kids. Period. Who knew? And we don’t let, or actively make the time to encourage them to simply play outside together enough, using their imagination and some old fashioned playground equipment.
Our room continues to evolve. For 3 years it’s simply been the infant room. Up to the time babies are between 12-14 months, they’re ours to care for and help mold. Then, because they’re toddlers, they would be eased into the next room with The Wonderful Ones. Sounds logical, has worked well. Until it was decided to let the babies remain in the infant room longer. Ease the enormous stress for them of having to move from our room. Don’t get me started. Already expressed my strong feelings what a bunch of hooey I think this is.
Now I’m fretting from a couple of those changes, not particularly the change itself, but the timing. This goes back to the manufacturer’s inappropriate clothing for kids. In a world where we constantly say, let them be little kids, it seems we’re doing exactly the opposite. I was a stay at home mom raising our 3 children. My kids slept in their cribs until they were dry through the night. Which happened about the age of 2-1/2. Then they got a big bed because they were big kids.
|Where breakfast and lunch is served, but not for very long. Gotta go, gotta go…|
Our babies each have their own crib to nap in. State law requires babies under 1 must have their own crib each day. Every child over 1 but under 3 must have a crib or cot. When the babies get fussy, we rock them to sleep. Maybe takes 5-10 minutes and they’re out like a light. Lay them down in their assigned crib, note the time and move on. Recently 4 cots have been added to our room. The cots sit about 3 inches off the floor. We throw on a crib sheet, move the immobile babies out of their designated area during nap time so the big kids can sleep there. Two or 3 people sit between the cots and lay down toddlers approximately 40 times, patting their backs until they fall asleep. Why? I don’t understand or see the advantage.
The other change is worse. Now the one year olds are supposed to sit on small chairs at a table which is about 15 inches high. For 2-1/2 years I’ve been able to feed 4 kids at one time. A couple usually are already eating finger foods while 2 might have cereal, jars or pouches of baby food. I sit on a bench, facing them. Each high chair tray holds a bowl or plate with food if they can feed themselves. I use masking tape with their names for the ones with baby food. We play pat-a-cake or I’ll sing songs or old commercial jingles while they eat. Pick up their sippy cups (also with their name on it) 20 times because it’s still fun to throw them even though they’re mere inches off the floor.
Imagine, if you will the game of whack-a-mole. A table with holes every few inches. Your goal is to see how fast you can ‘bop’ the little mole who sticks his head through one of the holes. But as soon as you make him disappear, another appears in a different hole. It happens very fast and constantly. Well that’s what a table of 4, 13-18 months old looks like. Just without the mallet. Now matter how hungry they are, they cannot remain seated. It’s like their little butt has a minute timer and they have to stand up, push away from the table and walk away. As soon as you set one down, show him his plate, drink, fork or spoon, another one is leaving. Then another, and another. Constant battle to get them sit for 10 minutes. They’re definitely eating less. Too many distractions. Other’s plates and silverware are now within easy reach. Why do we insist they eat at a big table when they’re not big? We just can’t let them be little when they’re still little. Why is that? What’s the advantage with cots and tables as opposed to cribs and high chairs? I don’t understand the reasoning, and find this very frustrating.
One morning this week I walked in our room, and noticed a new table and 2 chairs in the play area. The chairs resemble Adirondacks, and the table solid maple or birch, round and quite large, maybe 40 inches. Sitting about 15 or 18 inches off the ground, my first though was, is that not the cutest thing ever? Followed by, wonder which one of the boys will be standing on top of the table within the first 2 minutes of spotting it. As God is my witness it did not take 2 minutes. Let’s hope the novelty wears off quickly for the table and chairs.
|How cute is this? They would rather climb on than sit so far…|
One of our oldest kids wasn’t feeling the need for a nap. Major meltdown and this cutie has a set of pipes. Worthy of window shattering. Since she was disrupting the entire room, her immediate need for sleep was abandoned for the moment. I was rocking a baby to sleep close to her loud complaints. I growled and said, “woman” and tickled her arm. Tears forgotten, she squealed with delight and backed just out of my reach. Only to inch closer and closer with a huge grin on her face. Then I growl “woman” and repeat the tickle. Which made her giggle, back up and start all over again. She’d throw her head black, laugh maniacally (she really was tired). It was then I noticed her wide open mouth. “Hey, when the kids have more teeth than me, do they finally get to move?”…