we do have a rhythm to our days around here – kind of – a loosey goosey kinda sorta rhythmish thingy. but, it is not the kind of rhythm i feel super about. it is more like the kind of rhythm i told myself was ok while i got used to having more than one child in the house and then just never broke out of. truth be told, i am kind of tired of feeling ashamed of my daily parenting instead of good about it. it is what i do and it is what i am and it kinda sucks feeling crappy about it. i think the time has come to stop imagining all the cool things i will do with my kids in the future and instead try to change the shape of our days now.
with that in my mind i have been toying around (in my head only, once it hits paper i’ll feel like i have to do it) with what a new rhythm might include. more time outside, more time experimenting with crafting and exploring nature and the natural world, more time set aside for daily tasks so that i can encourage the bean to be more involved instead of trying to set him up doing something else so i can do things faster. also, perhaps, if i can force myself, less time obsessing over making sure the pea get x number of hours napping each day.
side notes important to be aware of: i have been obsessed with sleep since the bean was very young because he had a hard time sleeping and the way i met his sleep needs (holding him for naps until he was past 2 years old) were not common amongst people i knew. he also didn’t sleep well at night and so we coslept forever and thought he might never in his life sleep through. with him i got myself into a sleep obsession (since supposedly sleep begets sleep and we were not begetting any sleep at all) and i find i fell into it again with the pea. even though she sleeps slightly more easily than the bean did i still am always slightly neurotic about doing anything i can to help her sleep for “at least ninety minutes” which is said to be the minimum time a nap should be by the sleep begets sleep people. anyway, i got issues. i know i do. just sharing.
one other side note: i do plan to get the new rhythm sketched out on paper when i return from our big trip.
which leads to a third side note: we are leaving for our trip in a few days and gone until the ninth so there is a good chance you won’t hear much from me during that time. except perhaps an occasional iphone post. but don’t expect my usual wordiness. maybe you will all enjoy the vacation from ms. wordy.
ok now, back to the blog post. where was i? ah yes, i want to try to change things a little bit. i feel like i should point out that my inspiration to shift has come from a few different places. it started when i became a devoted fan of green mamma and was deeply impressed by all the amazing things she does with her daughter. further talks with my as of yet unnamed mama friend (we really must fix that issue) made me think more and more about what i wanted to do. as noted in my post on my vocational development i started thinking about what might inspire me to focus on and connect with parenting children that were no longer nursing, cosleeping, etc. reading over at the parenting passageway has also got me thinking more about how i want to direct and fill our days.
so there is a fair amount percolating in my brain and i am just looking for the opening, space or sudden inspiration to implement it. one day there was a lull in our day which allowed the bean to turn to me and say “will you play with me?” and i could honestly say “yes!” so he countered “what do you want to do?” and i was instantly stumped. in the words of a three year old he has basically just asked me to come up with a good activity and i had nothing to offer. i think it was one of my lamest parenting moments ever. we ended up playing with building blocks but shortly there after i had an ah ha moment. it would be helpful for me to have a “theme” in my mind to help me to steer our time, activities, talk, games, play. i am not saying that i am suddenly trying to teach him things or anything like that. we are still going to be the same laid back folk. but in the moment when we have a lull and i get to think of something fun to do it would help me to have a theme in mind. something simple, and broad, and connected to nature.
i talked this over with my the nameless mama and she agreed that it might be helpful. she happened to mention some recent bug sightings and just like that we had a theme to test out. bugs. for the last week or so i have just sat with what it means to have a bugs theme in our lives. when we saw ants on our floor instead of just dismissing them we got down low to look at them. i asked the bean to tell me if there was anything he liked about them. we talked about what they were doing in our home. when i was cleaning up the kitchen and putting aluminum foil on top of something and he asked me for a piece i made it into a bug shape and gave it to him to play with. (he has proceeded to ask me to do this almost everyday since.) when we had a quiet moment in which he asked me to play i asked him if he felt like gluing and got an excited yes. so i cut out some colored paper and we made bug art. in fact, he had so much fun we decided to take down some professional artwork in the playroom and hang up our bugs (and last weeks glitter glue art fun).
i certainly don’t have things all figured out. and given my recent impressions of the internet i am guessing there are people out there who could argue that having a theme is bad, or that bugs are not the right theme, or that my weird sleep obsession is sick, and so on and so forth. but so what? here i am, in my life, with our bug theme. we are rockin’ it woowoo style. we are liking it. bugs are suddenly cool.
i am totally open to other ideas and resources for daily rhythms and projects, crafts, play for preschoolers. if you have good stuff share the love.