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Monday, July 9th, 2012
Is it a milestone to suddenly turn shy? To go from boisterous to bashful?
The other day I went to pick Fia up from preschool. I asked the director if she was the wildest one in her class. What she said made no sense to me.
“Fia? No, she’s probably the quietest one.”
Huh? Feral Fia? The one who never stops chatting at home? Who oozes personality and spunk? Who dances and climbs and twirls? Even the other day while we were sitting at dinner, she squeezed her eyes shut, put her hands in prayer position, and went into a yoga chant. Phil and I almost died laughing.
“Fia, where did you learn that?”
“From yoga at school!” she exclaimed.
I’ve seen her do downward dog and tree pose, but the chants blew me away. It was so damn funny.
The school situation has me baffled. They said that during free play, she usually just plays quietly with herself, reading books or coloring. During the structured activities she is with everyone else. But other times she’s kind of a loner.
They told me she often stands back and just watches the other kids; that she is an observer, not a participant. I don’t know why the thought of that breaks my heart, but it does. Is she shy? Scared? Not confident? This is a girl that for months couldn’t stop hugging every kid she met.
She’s 2 years and 7 months. Is this still the age of parallel play? Or is she insecure? This side of her is a mystery to me.
She only goes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The teachers suggested we bump her up to 3 days in a row. Tue-Wed-Thur. Perhaps the repetition will make her more interactive with the other kids.
I have no doubt this is a great preschool. So it’s not that. Maybe my girl is just more subdued in unfamiliar situations? Or larger crowds? The other day our nanny had 6 kids over. Phil observed from his study that while all the other kids were running through the sprinklers, Fia just stood back and watched. She did that for 10 minutes. When she is one-on-one with a playdate, she is much more engaged. I’ve never seen her just stand back.
Should I tell our nanny and the school to pull her into the group more? Or is this something where you take a hands off approach and let her find her own way? Is going to preschool for 3 days in a row a wise choice, so it becomes more familiar? (It’s only from 9-1 pm).
I’m looking for advice from the moms who have been there before me. I don’t want to overstep my bounds with her, but I don’t want to ignore something either. Thoughts?
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babysitter, class, daycare, familiar, independence, loner, nanny, playdate, preschool, routine, school, shy, sitter, toddler, yoga | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Milestone Monday, Mom Situations, Must Read
Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012
In the running world it’s called bonking. In motherhood it’s called overbooking. The end result is the same: exhaustion.
A few weeks ago I wrote about how the endless stream of company and chaos (albeit, self-imposed) affected my milk supply. Luckily I got it back up by putting brakes on the crazy. Things are much more calm around here lately.
I started to think about why I pushed myself to such a ridiculous point and to to thinking: does it seem like our generation of moms feel the need to constantly get out and “do” more than previous generations? My mother-in-law, my aunt, and countless older moms have teased me about how much Fia and I were on the go the first two years. Part of it was living in an apartment in Brooklyn. You’ll go stir crazy if you don’t get outside. Part of it was the need to connect to other moms. But is there another part in our technologically-obsessed, plugged-in culture that makes us incapable of sitting at home? Or god forbid, letting our children entertain themselves?
Recently I was feeling guilty for not taking Emmett to the “Mommy and Me” movies. Every week in LA a couple of the movie theaters show a new release for moms. You bring your babies. Diaper changes, crying and breastfeeding are the norm. No one cares because you’re all in the same boat. I did it when Fia was 3 months old (we were out here for a brief stretch). Her first movie was “Shutter Island.” Okay, now read the first sentence of this paragraph again. Guilty? For Emmett? He gets no benefit from the movies. It’s purely for me.
Could the play date and having to ”do” something with the kids end up being harmful? Does it gear them up to think they ”have” to be entertained or go somewhere? Instead should we be teaching them calm and quiet? To play with themselves? Commune in nature? My aunt thinks so. She feels that the drive in this generation of moms will lead to some uncontrollable kids/tweens/teens who don’t know what to do with themselves if they aren’t “doing.” As she put it, “Being able to be alone with yourself, entertain yourself, read, etc., is paramount to becoming a well balanced, non-hyperactive teen and adult.”
Are we selfish in wanting to see movies and do yoga while dragging our babies along for the ride in the guise of “mommy and me” classes? Or are we helping ourselves get through motherhood by creating our own villages? If it’s the latter, they are very activity-centered villages. At least mine always have been.
I’m sure the ability to text a friend and get an instant response contributes to the ease of meeting up. Before the age of email and cell phones, it may have been different by default, not choice. But is this the right choice for us and our kids? I don’t know. I think it’s something to ponder.
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breastfeeding, cell phones, email, entertain, mommy and me, movies, overbooking, oversharenting, play date, playdate, text, yoga | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama
Wednesday, June 29th, 2011
My daughter wasn’t a snuggler. At least not post-newborn stage after the limbs stopped flailing. At 6 months when she began to crawl, I’d hug her and she’d push away. She was far more interested mauling and smothering the cat. This puzzled me. Perhaps affection isn’t ingrained in everyone. In some, maybe it’s learned.
Thus began Operation Hugs and Snugs.
“Give mama a hug and a snug,” I’d say, picking her up and putting her entire cheek in my mouth. Phil cringed. “That sounds so stupid.” But a moment later, he’d be the one asking, “why isn’t our baby more cuddly?”
So Snugs and Hugs became my mantra.
Early on in the deployment of the Operation I noticed Fi would go up to our closest mom friend and hug her. Wtf? Granted, her boy Teddy was a huge hugger, but I’m the one who breathed life into her. Instead of getting upset about her misplaced loyalty, I decided to take this as proof my strategy was working.
I stepped it up a notch. Operation Hugs and Snugs enlisted the “Barnacle Baby.” I’d lie in child’s pose, pat my back and say, “Come barnacle on mama.” She began to scream in delight and climb on me. I’d go up on all fours and she’d sit on me as if riding a horse, giggling like mad. Then she’d lie down, her little arms wrapped around my sides, her head and warm stomach against my back. I’d inhale deeply, knowing there is nothing better (until she’d fall off head first and cry).
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affection, baby affection, clingy, grabbing, grabs, hugger, hugs, mom-tot yoga, snuggle, snuggler, yoga | Categories:
A Fi Grows in Brooklyn, Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Tricks and Tips