Monday, January 21, 2013

My 15 Month Old Artist

"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to fit them to twist our own image. Otherwise, we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them." - Thomas Merton

I don't normally like to be drastically inspired by random positive sayings I find online. But I really liked this one. I have never read anything like this, but I think it is so true in all relationships, but especially with our children. I want Blanche to be whatever she truly is. I want her to be able to accept and love herself for whatever that might be as well.

Lately (the past two months) I have been introducing arts and crafts to Blanche. I will admit that at times I really desire for her to be a creative child. Honestly, I think all children are creative. Was it Picasso that said that all children were born artists? I agree, but I want Blanche to discover and learn to love  whatever she loves, not what I love. I want to be there beside her to introduce these things and guide her along the way. I know that part of me wants her to love crafting so I can craft too. Haha. But I can see a creative and "free spirit" within her, and I know that my job is to help cultivate, teach, and guide the talents she already has within her.

I love the curiosity and wildness (most of the time) that so many children seem to have. Right now, at 15 months old, Blanche only has an attention span that lasts about 5 to 10 minutes when it comes to sitting down for an activity. Now, put on "Elmo in Grouchland" and you have her for a good 20-40 minutes depending on the day. I have been learning over the past couple of months that right now she is still so young and really still discovering the world around her. Blanche is still in observation mode. I think she's figuring out what she is capable of doing physically, vocally, and intellectually. I am learning to simply follow her and let her show me these things.

As Blanche is growing, I have been thinking more about the years to come. She is already almost a year and half old. Before I know if she will be starting kindergarten. Or will she? Thats my current decision. Luckily I still have four years or so to figure it out. As Blanche has become mobile and has had the desire to do more on her own, I have started doing things around the house to prompt her independence. Hopefully I will finish up our house tour later this week and show some of the examples. I started doing reading on Montessori homes and play rooms, like seen in this blog. I've also been interested and reading about "unschooling." Which as I've read is really a total change in the philosophy of Education as I have known it. I loved what I read on this blog today. The more I read about what some mothers are doing with their children, the more inspired I am.

I hope to write more about all of these things when I actually know what I am talking about. I guess right now I am sort of rambling in the midst of both Blanche and I having colds. As I write this, Blanche is watching "Elmo's Potty Time" and pushing her dolly in her dolly stroller and wishing to go outside. Winter is hard. Especially when we have been sick. During the cold weather I have been able to really work on Blanche's first year baby book. It is nice to see a project coming together. Blanche is also starting to be interested in crayons for coloring, rather than just putting them in her mouth. She also has a "music corner" that she loves to make music in. As Blanche has started having more personality and more interest in almost all things, it has been so exciting to see her learn new words (like "duck" this week) and hearing her say what sound an owl makes, "whoo whoo." She also walks up to my coffee cup every morning and says, "Haa haat" (hot hot). She can also point to her nose and give us a pretty mean back rub. She really is becoming so much more of a little person, rather than a baby. Maybe thats why now I am realizing more than I have in the past that I am helping to shape not just a baby or a child, but a person.

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