Friday, April 8, 2011

Josiah Grows Up

This little man of ours just turned 3.

It has been one of those seasons during which so many changes happen in a child that it's almost like you can watch them growing.

Josiah doesn't sleep during his Rest Time anymore. And if I accidentally call it his "Rest Time", he looks a little concerned and asserts that he isn't tired. The funny thing to me is that we just changed the name of Rest Time to "Alone Time" and that means something totally different to him. It means he gets to play in his room for about 90 minutes doing things like this:

I think what we have here is a special picnic for Monkey, Elephant, Afoo and Fisher. Owl is there too but we can't see him in this picture. They seem to be enjoying some delectable Magformers on top of Pinky the Blanket.

Only a few short months ago, Josiah slept soundly between 1:30 and almost 4pm. Every day. I would have to wake him at 4... Or he would just keep on sleeping. Now that he stays awake all that time, he's so much more active in general. He seems more physically involved in the world around him. He runs. He crashes into walls. Asks to go outside. Jumps on the trampoline. He eats more at meals and insists on doing many more things by himself. He needs even more firm boundaries to help him manage this newfound energy.

He's also potty training. The slow way. Which means that he's not some magical-diapers-to-underwear-overnight kid. But I think he's making pretty good progress.

I told him that when he was 3, he could try sitting on the potty.

Now he's 3! So I really couldn't put it off any longer. I think the potty training goes well with his new love of being a big boy.

So Happy Birthday, Josiah!

We love you very much and you make us laugh...

... especially when you fall asleep on your brother's comic book in your super suit.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Chair Time

Is it a universal fact of life in homes with small children that the pre-dinner hour is a difficult time of the day? Maybe the most difficult time of the day?

My mom talks about how nice it was that Mr. Rogers or Sesame Street came on during dinner prep time when my siblings and I were young. The only problem was that the one child who had just dropped his or her afternoon nap just might fall asleep while Mr. Rogers quietly fed his fish.

While we definitely make use of a pre-dinner Signing Time DVD or a few minutes with a Netflix Pink Panther cartoon, we've also come up with another strategy that helps get dinner on the table.

I am apparently at my most creative while I'm scrambling to make dinner for our hungry crew and so I call this new tool "Chair Time". 

Participants in Chair Time include the 3 youngest members of the family. And me. The older two are either setting the table or able to entertain themselves elsewhere.

And this is how we do it:

Each little person sits on a chair in the kitchen.

They are close enough to me to get a sniff or a taste of what we're making for dinner.

They can sing songs, practice catechism, watch my eyes tear up as I chop onions, take turns cutting biscuits at the counter, work on a memory verse.

But they can't touch each other! Or get off of their chairs without permission.

It takes some initial training for them to stay on their chairs but it seems that is part of the beauty of it.  They need to learn to sit and stay anyway.

It's like killing 7or 8 birds with one stone.

I like that.