A BRAND NEW EXPERIENCE

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totschool

Sort of.

As I’ve mentioned, our tiny human is definitely the curious sort. His high energy, high needs, super persistent personality means that everything is interesting and subject to ardent scrutiny. We do a lot of baby/parent play without the tv, radio or noisy and flashy toys to help prevent him from getting over stimulated. It’s usually a lot of fun and if we catch him at the right time it works out great.

I have to admit, homeschool blogs are my secret addiction. I love seeing homeschool rooms, looking through projects and reading awesome anecdotes about parents teaching their kids. It’s strange, I know. I’m pretty sure I have a very romanticized version of homeschooling in my head that makes me think it is something I want to look into in the future, even though my boyfriend is definitely not a fan. I read posts about different styles or curriculum and sort of just file the information away for later. It doesn’t really apply to me right now, right? My baby is still so young, we don’t have to worry about school for a few years.

That’s what I thought until I came across Tot School¬†over at 1+1+1=1. Goodness, was that moment magnificent. You see Tot School is not homeschooling your baby/toddler. It’s simply “focused time with your tot, exposing early learning skills through fun play.” How absolutely perfect is that? We already do that! Kind of. I mean, I spend most of the day playing with him and reading to him, that’s time spent focused on my tiny human, right? Really the biggest difference is the emphasis on the early learning skills. Life around here can seem kind of hectic and sometimes we don’t make that kind of stuff a priority in our focused play.

Last week, we tried our first day of Tot School. He lasted 40 minutes before deciding he wanted to move on to something else! It was great! Tiny human loves to drop objects into other objects but he hasn’t quite figured out his shape sorter yet. I’ve been trying to help him work on his gross motor skills, but he usually get frustrated and winds up throwing whatever we are playing with. I wasn’t sure exactly how we could work that practice into our first day of Tot School. It took me a full week before finally the epiphany came. He was banging on an empty coffee can while I was doing dishes one morning. I watched him pick up one of his blocks and bang it down hard on the lid. He pulled it away, looked at the block, looked back at the lid. Looked at the block. Then back at the lid. Then he looked at the block again. And tried to shove it into the crack between the oven and the broiler. And that was it. Less than a minute of watching him try to force a block into places it couldn’t go, and I knew what we were going to do!

During nap time, I took the coffee can and cut a hole in the plastic lid. I washed it out along with the lids from the empty baby food jars that were sitting in the recycling. Ta-da! A sorter he could drop round lids into without struggle. He took to it instantly. He had no problem grabbing the lids and he definitely liked the loud plink noises the lids made when they landed in the can. He loves to stick his little hand in and pull out the lids. We did this for a few days. Then we spent a few days playing with shakers for Tot School. He’s surprisingly good at repeating rhythms! We set aside a little bit of time each day for these activities.

So far we’ve noticed that Tot School helps prevent him from getting overstimulated and actually calms him down before nap time. It kind of helps calm me down too. It pulls me away from worrying about getting the house clean or finishing up any writing I have to do. I can’t say I’ve seen any progress in his gross motor skills yet, but it’s only been a week. We will just have to keep trying and see!.

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THE MOST EVIL BREAKFAST CEREAL OF ALL

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Want to know one of the worst ideas I’ve ever had?

Staying up until almost 4 a.m. to be demolished at NHL 14 by my boyfriend.

Before we had a tiny human crawling underfoot, it would not have a been a big deal. But the tiny human wakes up at eight, so I wake up at eight. This still would not have been so horrible if it weren’t for the awful, evil, terrible scourge that haunts my kitchen cabinets. Even now the big yellow box sits on the counter top, mocking me, just waiting for my little human to wake up and demand more.

I did it to myself. He just likes feeding himself so much and the little enticing O’s are the perfect size for his miniature fingers to pick up. I figured what the heck. I didn’t realize that I’d be digging crushed cereal out of every corner of my home. I had no idea that he would start refusing to eat any other solid food. I thought surely the pleasant pears and yummy yogurt would remain the go to breakfast and lunch choices.

Boy was I wrong. My attempt to supply apples instead of the tasty toasted treat was a bust that resulted in a tantrum of epic proportions. When my tiny little human reached his teeny hand into the plastic orange bowl and discovered no Cheerios, he used all of his nine months of lung power to let out a wail so loud and earth shattering that I’m amazed this side of New York didn’t have a spike in activity on the Richter scale. He threw his head back with all his might, eyes squeezed shut and continued to scream as I scooped him up. We rocked and sang and bounced until the storm calmed. And calm it did. Finally. After what seemed like decades. I let out that huff of breath all parents hold when they are caught between feeling guilty and feeling frustrated because their little human just doesn’t understand. At least we were in the clear. We could put it behind us and start over fresh by playing with the activity table or the Mega Bloks or anything. All was well.

And then I committed a series of egregious, deplorable and heinous attrocities. As I held him in my arms, I turned around. The obnoxious yellow box was clearly visible over my shoulder. I walked right past the offending bowl of apples and picked up the xbox controller.

The tantrum returned full force. Again he screamed. Again he threw his heavy head back and tried to roll away from me. I silently cursed my own stupidity. And caved. I emptied the apples onto a plate, filled the bowl with Cheerios and set my suddenly cheerful, giggling baby on the floor. He happily tossed cereal everywhere while I slumped down next to him.

Do they put baby crack in Cheerios? Can my son sense that my stale, tepid coffee was the only thing preventing me from red ringing? People keep telling me he’s just trying to keep me on my toes. I can’t help but hope one day he has an adorable baby. JUST. LIKE. HIM.