Finn update

Finn has taken giant strides in both mobility and communication in the past two weeks.  He's now offically "cruising"--holding on to furniture and his crib and walking. I read to him before naps, while he's in his crib (it's honestly the only time he'll stay still through an entire story) and he used to just sit or stand and listen, watching the pictures. But the past few days he has been literally doing laps around the crib, looking intently when he passes by but otherwise concentrating on walking! crib cruising

Pointing at everything he sees is a new delight, and he seems to understand the idea that he can signify something beyond himself (the beginning of abstract thought?). He also is constantly pointing at something or someone and then at himself, and we think he is exploring the distinction between self and other. Along the same lines, he loves the game of give and take, and is delighted when he holds something out and we take it, and then give it back. These beginnings of social interaction are obviously so satisfying to him, and thus are really fun to watch. He is signing more and more the few words he knows (more, water) and in fact sometimes it's like the sign vesion of babbling--I'll catch him doing the "more" sign over and over, while falling asleep, or looking out the window.  give-and-take

Last night, during our nightly struggle of teethbrushing, Finn grabbed the toothbrush out of our hands and started doing it himself. He was so proud and happy, even without our positive feedback, and he actually did a much better job than we ever expected. I guess Montessorians wouldn't be surprised by this, and I am becoming more and more intrigued by the Montessori method of helping and allowing children to become independent. Inspired by the little bit of reading I have done, we did sort out Finn's relatively modest toy collection, dividing it into 3 sets and then rotating weekly what is available to him. It is so far accomplishing several good things--it's much easier to keep his toys and books neat and organized, and he is showing some interest in helping us put the toys in their spots.  He's also playing with some previously buried toys again, and in new ways.    

Whenever I feel worried that I'm not doing enough to help or teach Finn or pressure that I'm not sending him to school yet (seriously! they start preschool at 12 and 18 months here! I'm always asked by other mums what school Finn is going to, and what kindergarten he has a reserved spot in!) I remember this thought from You are Your Child's First Teacher, by Rahima Baldwin Darcy: "Rudolf Steiner had tremendous confidence in the natural processes of development and reminded us that 'That which is asleep will awaken.' ... There is a task for us--to guard, to protect, to understand, to share and to enjoy with the child the unfolding of his or her abilities."    

little man

and then I look at this face, and I'm not worried anymore.


Marcy at Life is Good said...

Donovan loves the give/take game, too! The funniest thing is he LOVES to reach a toy/piece of food/whatever out to someone, then when you reach to grab it he pulls it back-- and laughs! He's purposefully toying with people.

I sometimes get down about not doing some of the things I keep reading about, too, reading more to him, giving him more vocab, etc etc etc. But one of my favorite Montessori principles is the simple yet powerful "follow the child..." and I remember that my purpose is not so much to instruct, but to provide this budding person with opportunities and then to get out of his way and allow him to explore at his own pace. I believe that everything they do at this stage is purposeful, and that allowing them the freedom to determine what THEY want to do, what to explore, play with, etc is the best thing we can do for them.

(obvs still want to talk to them, read at least some, keep them safe, etc, BUT hopefully you get what I mean... =)

foodsmith said...

Finn is just starting that fake out thing, and gets such a kick out of it. I'm going to try to remember to follow the child--I think it's a really great principle, when it comes to development at least.