Pinterest is usually my nursing pass time these days and lately I've found myself browsing and pinning all of the fun you can have with toddlers. The pre-school teacher in me is getting really excited about the prospects of art projects, felt boards, sensory activities, puzzles, etc. Our attic is filled to the brim with theme tubs and all sorts of fun, hand-made (and educational) activities. As I made each and every one for my students I always thought to myself, "I can use this for my own kids someday." As Ayden grows we get closer to him using all of that special stuff that I've tucked away for safe keeping. I am looking forward to pulling it out and being reminded of my sweet students and helping Ayden learn the same lessons that I taught them.
He is already showing some interest in drawing and loves exploring textures, songs/finger plays and, of course, reading books. I am planning on using the Montessori method for a lot of his home pre-schooling so I have been looking in to details pertaining to that as well. I really love the minimalistic approach and think it will jive well with our lifestyle. I imagine that we will start slowly introducing things after his birthday in January. It is so hard to believe that we have a toddler but it is also very exciting!
I feel the need to add that the events in CT last Friday have really weighed heavily on my thoughts and I know I am not alone. As a once teacher turned new(ish) mother. I can put myself in a lot of the shoes from the tragedy and my heart has been so broken over all of it. Is it possible for us to continue to keep this, "hold your babies tighter" mentality forever? Can we challenge ourselves as parents to truly cherish every moment with our little ones as if it is possibly our last. I have to admit that the sadness of it all it took me to places where I imagined what it might be like to lose Ayden. I know there is no way to even fathom the loss of a child without having been through it but all I could think was, if it ever did happen, I wouldn't want any regrets. I would want our last interaction to have been filled with love, patience and understanding. As a family, we don't believe in living our lives or making choices out of the fear of what *could* happen; but at the same time if something bad were to happen, we want to have lived to the fullest and with as much love around us as possible. Tonight as Ayden threw piece after piece of his dinner onto the floor instead of eating it (a new habit that makes me want to pull my hair out), I reminded myself that "he is happy, healthy and thriving." Then I stuck a smile on my face and repeated for the um-teenth time, "keep it on your tray or eat it" in the sweetest voice that I could muster. In the grand scheme of things, food on our kitchen floor is no big deal and with time, patience and consistency Ayden will learn not to throw it on the floor anymore. We just have to remind ourselves that with what is going on in the world today, it's all small stuff.