we had new friends over saturday (renee from another lab at work, and her daughter 3.5 year old ellie, who is a cute button!). we played in the yard, the kids “painted” the dog house with water, from the little cups they had been making dandelion soup in… so cute. they ran around holding hands. we walked to the playground and they held hands going down the slide. there were 2 moments of sharing… but it was not quinn, it was actually ellie who had the issue with taking turns this time, and no hitting just she didn’t know how to handle it and screamed instead. it scared quinn but he was ok and i was able to talk to him about it so he felt better. he has been talking all about ellie since, and doing xyz “with ellie” and having “friends” come and play and stuff…
dada and quinn have been working on painting the play table… it is looking really awesome. saturday night i felt like i hit a wall. quinn has been staying up late late late. saturday. it was 9:30ish and i was ready for bed when he finally was willing… last night he was up till 11. he just could not settle down, and ended up taking a bath from 10 to 11 so i could breathe and have time to myself. actually i would have let him out of the bath way sooner but he was having a great time and kept telling me “maybe yater!”
sunday morning we went to the aquarium, and then came home for nap time. dada worked on the table while i sewed, cuz i am feeling the deadline of the first farmers market approaching rapidly!!!!! and then after nap we went to a new beach, that renee told me about. it was VERY cool and remote and no one was there and it was a big wide sandy beach with lots of driftwood and so that was fun. dada took off his shoes at one point and quinn thought it was the coolest thing ever and walked right into the water (crossing the stream) after dada with his shoes still on. then he asked to have his shoes off. then he wanted his hat off too… SO cute. little hippie wanted his feet free AND his hair blowing in the breeze. so the next stream, he got to cross in bare feet and then of course they had to go back and forth across it because he was so thrilled.
i have to admit i was happy he stayed in the tub that long because it meant i could scurry around back and forth, cleaning up the kitchen and then sticking my head in to have him tell me “maybe yater” again. oh i forgot one of the best parts of last night. quinn earlier in the day, pre-beach, told us he wanted to “have a nice happy day”. i agreed ok yeah let’s go have a nice hapyp day at the beach! and he was like yeah! so then later that night he was like i want a muffin and put it on the play table and have a nice happy day! and i’m like OHHHHH. he wanted a BIRTHDAY day. so we had muffins, luckily, so i put a candle on one, brought it to the table, and sang “happy day to you” to quinn…. he LOVED it. of course i had to “do it again!” a bunch of times. and i asked if he wanted to blow out the candle: “maybe yater mama.” sigh.
sunday, we took quinn to the carnival (just a small tiny one that was here because of loyalty day parade on saturday) and he went on the carousel… which was interesting. he smiled and then mostly had a look of “i don’t know if i like this” for the rest of the ride… he is so cute though, he totally knew it was ok, as in, mama is here, but he just seemed like he was kind of unsure how it felt to go up and down and round and round at the same time. then we went in the funhouse and he loved the funny mirrors. he stood in front of each one and announced: “i’m tall!” or “i’m little!” and stood there smiling at his reflection.
then we went to the beach after nap time, because it was beautiful weather. and then the weather shifted while we were there but we got a nice rumpus in before the wind really got howling. today it is supposed to gust to 68 mph, later on. fun!
on the radical mamas forum recently there has been really good discussion about consensual living, (CL) which basically when you break it down means, everyone is their own person, children are people too, and everyone gets to decide things for themselves consenting) and everyone is happy.
(there are lots of arguments against this point of view but most of them seem misinformed to me because CL doesn’t mean kids get whatever they want. because the PARENTS have to be happy and consent, too. but it does mean kids get given a lot more respect, which sits really well with me and with my whole parenting approach thus far, and is kind of the extension of attachment parenting (AP) where you breastfeed and sling and co-sleep and build trust (pick up baby when he cries etc) and to me, a lot of parents do AP until they turn 2, then throw all that great trust-building out the window and start doing mainstream discipline. so that wasn’t what i wanted to do… so that is why all the discussion lately since a lot of us have kids just turning 2 etc.)
so the basic gist is that i don’t want to look at life as a series of things i “let” quinn do, or “don’t let” him do. i want him to get to experience everything, to his fill, and decide for himself what his limits are, not be told what they HAVE to be. (“children need limits” is one of my least favorite parenting cliches!!!) children HAVE limits, and they don’t have any sense of where they are if you don’t let them find some of that out for themselves. then there have been spinoff conversations for example what about things like tv and sugar, do we let them go at it and have their fill, or do we regulate, and other conversations about hygiene and teeth brushing and hair brushing and bathing, do we let them get smelly or do we enforce bathtime, that kind of thing… it goes on and on, but basically i feel i am finding that i really value quinn being his own person, knowing who he is and knowing his mind (what he wants) SO much more than i value being able to tell him what to do! so i am really happy to be discussing all this with the mamas.
i’ve been really aware of it all lately, like saturday morning i asked quinn what he wanted for breakfast. usually i ask it “do you want a bagel or cereal (which means oatmeal and blueberries)?” and he tells me his choice. or sometimes he doesn’t want to eat yet, or sometimes he picks somethng that wasn’t one of the options. but i usually don’t just ask open-ended like that, and what did he answer? “i want some quinoa and some bread!” he floors me. and i kid you not, it was a split second, he KNEW what he wanted and almost didn’t even have to think about it. with the self-regulation (like tv and candy) issue, i see him having so much restraint. he was at the shop with dada yesterday and he does “eat yoburp and see some winnie the pooh” routine whenever he goes there. and he always is done when he’s done eating the yoburp. never watches more than 20 min of tv at a time. dada never told him no you can’t watch tv it’s bad… but we also didn’t overexpose him while he was little. same with sugar, although have i told you about the lollipops dada got him at the co-op? fruit juice lollipops (i want a yowipop!) but still, i was not really keen on the idea. but he wanted one, dada got him one, he loved it, he asks for them occasionally, and they go and take a walk to the co-op and get one. and he eats maybe half of it. he seems to know his own limits. and he seems to also know what’s good- like i was making burritos on friday night and he asked to sit in his high chair while i was working on that, and i gave him cheese and stuff, and then i finished making some guacamole so i handed him a pretzel stick dipped in guacamole, and i usually don’t make guacamole (usually just chop the avos but they were perfect texture for guacamole) and so he was very interested, and tasted it and i said do you like it? and he said “a yummy TREAT for me, mama!” guacamole yowipop?
someone used the example of what would you do if your kid said he was going to jump in the deep end of the pool, having never learned to swim. would you just “let” them go at it, or would you offer info about safety and maybe give them some swimming lessons first? and again, i saw it as a misinformed position- she was challenging the “hands-off” approach of CL, and i see it as anything BUT hands-off. of COURSE i would offer him info if he asked to jump in the deep end. but i also would not just step in and drag him off telling him it’s dangerous, now be good. i would tell him everything i know about it, and my guess is, he trusts me enough not to jump in. BUT if he STILL wanted to, i would like to think i would try to find a way to figure out how we COULD do it- like i jump in with him, or i get in the water and let him jump in where i can be right there to help him stay afloat, etc. but the overall point is, CL kids are probably LESS LIKELY to WANT to try things that are beyond their limits (like jump in deep water) because they KNOW their own limits better and have a better sense of that stuff, BECAUSE they’ve been allowed to try stuff (within reason).
it seems like many parents are “knee-jerk” about using the word no. what a lot of people fall back on is they parent “on instinct” which i think is baloney. no one parents on instinct, they are far too full of conditioned knee jerk reactions to be able to know what their INSTINCTS really are anymore… if we parented by instinct we would be acting a lot more like chimpanzees, for starters.
things like grabbing…. if he tried to reach across me, in that case i may have also moved the thing farther away and continued talking about it… but i even want to avoid doing that much, if we can just have a civil discussion about it and that works, then i leave it where it is… he is doing really well with things when i acknowledge his feelings (it’s disappointing not to get to play with x) and then talk with him about ways we can help ourselves “feel better” which is such a catch phrase with him now. i love hearing him say it all on his own… baby bear will fall down and he’ll give baby bear a hug and say “hug, feels better!” and stuff like that. he is so cool.
we decided we should call ourselves the yes moms. whenever we think we need to say no, we first ask “why not” and then we ask “how can….” thinking it through to the point of, let me see if it IS really a no situation, or am i just being knee-jerk about it? and if so, how CAN we make this happen safely. i think a lot of people use “instinct” it to justify abusive behavior- i.e. swatting, spanking, yelling, etc., well i just acted on instinct. oh you mean impulse? not the same thing….
i’m brain dead. i’m so at the end of my sanity…. quinn has not gone to bed before 10 yet this week. one night it was 10:30 and other nights 10. last night i finally stayed up past him, because i knew i would go insane if i just went to bed with him for yet another night. oy vay. he totally wants mama. and that is awesome, so i’m trying not to feel sorry for myself for no alone time… i just have SOOO much on my plate right now that it is hard not to really really really want him to go to bed at say 9 instead of 10… so i can get some stuff done! yikes.
i have not nearly as much stuff made as i want to for the first farmer’s market. i have 2 finished slings, a handful of each size diaper, 3 hoodie towels, a little of this a little of that…. know what i mean? but it IS the first one, not expecting masses of people to be there, and i honestly feel less stressed now about the stuff (i can keep adding to it all the time- it’s only once a week!) and more stressing about things like… oh a business
name lol. i need to print business cards, not to mention price my “merchandise” and print tags and prices and such… so yeah that part is currently my dilemma.
quinn’s dump truck is now his garbage truck. you should hear him talking about “when i get older and big, i’ll drive my garbage truck…” it is hilarious! he uses my kitchen tongs to pick up the garbage cans (empty thread spools) to dump them into the truck.
carrying a driftlog off the beach (firewood!) he was so cute, we each grabbed a piece of wood, and both dada and i had it on our shoulder, so quinn wanted to do it too.
snowman pants are the proper hiking attire for drift creek wilderness area. quinn woke up in the morning and i asked him what pants he wanted and he told me “white!” and that is the only pair of white pants so…. snowmen.
this was a serious hike. he took two naps on my back. i will be SORE tomorrow. cute close up pix by the creek. and the last pic is of the “snowmen” (quinn’s name for them) we built out of river rocks.
i went home yesterday and quinn wanted milk so we went in the bed like we always do. and i was telling him how i love him very much and he replied “no.” and i said yes i do, i love you SOOOO much! and he said “no- you go work on salmon.” holy heartwrenching moment. i handled it great i think, i mean i could have just cried but i told him over and over how much i love him and how i love him even when i have to go work on salmon, and i love him when he’s sleeping and etc and he seemed to feel a lot better about it but wow. he is amazing though- he will tell me his feelings now, without prompting. sometimes i do need to prompt, but he is able to just outright tell me “i felt a yittle scared.” or whatever. he is also doing some amazing things with markers these days. i will send a pic cuz i’m just floored by it, but he is drawing spirals. not kidding. he starts in the center and goes around and around, it’s just incredible.
i am really interested from an art therapy perspective what they could mean, but also spirals are a universal symbol, i have my spiral necklace, and included spirals in my birth altar (moon snails, etc.) the boy is INTENSE right now. we went to the beach last night and he went in the water, there is a big creek running through the beach down to the ocean at the place we went, and he wanted to walk in the water so i took off his mocs and he went in in socks, holding my hand and splashing along the edge. he is so great.