Today we were having quite a fussy morning…not me so much, but a couple of my little ladies. Poor Willow. According to Chloe, Willow couldn’t do anything right all morning–and she was sure to let her know! Laelia, it seems is getting five teeth right now, so she’s a little Miss Grumpy Pants, who also has the sniffles. Willow was the only happy one and was really taking Chloe’s rudeness like a champ. She never once retaliated. I think she was just chose to lose herself in her brilliant imagination. Little smarty.
I tried the usual mom tactics with Chloe–reprimanding, punishing, a trip to her room, and finally we just all went to neutral corners for quiet time. What a morning!
If you know us or have read my many posts, you probably know that we homeschool the kiddos. Our curriculum is called Enki Education, which has a lot of similar qualities to Waldorf schooling. One of the things we focus on is making sure the girls get a good amount of proprioceptive activities. They need to be running, jumping, hauling, chopping, and working those little muscles as much as they can. So, I last year, Scott built them a work bench. It is complete with a tool box with a hammer, screw drivers, a wrench, pliers, and sand paper. He put nails and screws in it for them to pound on and maneuver however they wish. Oh how they loved it!
When Laelia got to be about a year old, we put the tools away for a while. There was just too much of a chance of her hurting herself with all the different things in there. But yesterday after quiet time, I got everything out again. They were so happy. Instantly the mood changed from super grumpy to happy and focused. They grabbed tools, took turns, and for the rest of the day they were happy. There was no more fussiness and Chloe was finally taking it easy on Willow. Phew!
This isn’t the only time this type of activity has worked. I have found that when they are complaining or starting to turn on one another, if I give one kid a broom and one a dust pan, they stop arguing and work together to get a job done. The same thing happens with a rag and a spray bottle and the task of cleaning the windows.
For all you Mamas out there who are looking at summer time with mixed feelings, just remember to include those precious babies in your housework and it might help with the moments of grumpiness and complaining–even if it’s not done to Mama’s standards it can be a huge help!
Or just give them a hammer. 😉