Thursday, February 5, 2009

Seven Quick Takes: Kid Edition


Go check out other Quick Takes at Jen's Place.



We have been more or less unschooling around here lately. Their montessori work is available to them on the shelves, books are in baskets waiting to be read, but I haven't had the energy for new presentations or really hands-on work this week. Big Kid has a collection of Kumon workbooks that he loves so I pulled those out for him and let him choose whichever page he wanted. So he wrote a variety of uppercase letters, worked a few mazes, and traced shapes. He used the measuring tape to measure his favorite book, his blanket and the hardest object of all- his little brother. One of the funniest things I've seen in awhile is Big Kid chasing his brother saying, "hold still! I just want to measure you!" and the little one running away laughing hysterically.



If you were having your first baby girl and you weren't really a girly-girl yourself, what would you prefer as a knitted gift? I'm trying to figure out what to make for a friend and she doesn't like very traditional things, definitely not pink and purple. I've looked at several kimono patterns, mary jane type booties, hats... and nothing is jumping out at me. Ideas? Ravelry links?



I asked Big Kid what he thought I should blog about tonight. His words of wisdom,

"Blog? I don't really think that's a word, Mama. I think you mean log."

I laughed, because how can you not? I tried to explain what a blog was, but he shook his head. "I think you're confused. A log is made of WOOD, not in a computer."



Big Kid has been looking over the seed catalogues with me over the last few weeks and lending his own advice about which things he likes best, specifically about which color flowers he likes. He wants a completely yellow flower garden since yellow is his favorite color. I asked him what he thought his brother might like and he said, "well, he yellow is his favorite too." I'd like to know how he knows that!



I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but Little Bit does not speak yet. He's 19 months old today, and not a word. He has said about 4 words in the last few months, and each time he's used that word a handful of times over a few days and then not a peep since. I haven't been terribly worried until the last few days. He's stopped signing completely and he's not babbling anymore. He is still a very active kid and definitely makes his needs known. He'll go pat the fridge if he wants a drink, he can follow directions to go sit in his chair for meals or to get a certain toy, he does puzzles and plays like a normal child. He interacts with us, just not verbally. I can see his sense of humor in there waiting to get out.



I think we may be through the sleep hurdle with Little Bit. This has consumed my mind since before Thanksgiving- that is how long it had been since he's slept through the night. Notice the nice use of past tense in the last sentence- he's slept through the night for 3 nights in a row now! Be very quiet so he doesn't hear us even *thinking* about the possibility that he's sleeping decently.



What do you do when the work you'd like to do isn't on the shelf? Why, you ask your mother to make it! Big Kid asked me a few days ago if I would make him a cutting basket like we've had before, so I cut some strips of construction paper for him and he chopped them up- finishing the whole basket in one sitting. So I drew a few shapes for him to cut out the next day and he polished them off in the next day also! So for today I've made some swirl type patterns, and we'll see if he can follow along with those.

Artist at 27

When I started college I was newly 18, a music major looking to do something big with myself. I'd been blessed with amazing performance opportunities in high school and had already worked professionally for a few years. I planned to be with my band for a long time and I loved performing just as much as I loved the geekitude of music theory and composition. I didn't have the clearest map carved out in my mind, but I knew I had places to go and I planned to hit as many stops as possible along the way.


I didn't account for possibly meeting Superman. Or that marriage thing that I so often said I'd never do.


So I did another thing I said I'd never do- I began to teach. At first it was about making a living. As a musician you only have a few real sources of income before you have to resort to a "real job" and teaching private students is the best chance for a steady income. I started out with just a few kids and to my surprise I kind of liked it. I learned more about pedagogy and teaching methods and found that I liked it even more.


Here I am almost 10 years later closing in on 28, married and raising 2 kids, running a business full-time, and nary a performance in sight . . . how did that happen? 27 was originally intended to be a lot of late nights and equally late mornings, playing gigs, writing music, and generally being an artistic type.


At least I was partially right 10 years ago. I am having a lot of late nights (thanks to Little Bit) and I am writing a lot of music (though for a teaching project, not gigs). Performances are now given by Big Kid and Little Bit- Big Kid accepts applause for a job well done, Little Bit prefers laughter. My artistic side has moved into sewing and knitting, lesson planning, baking and crafting with littles. There are very few late mornings- Little Bit is far too excited to start each day to wait until a respectable waking hour, so we start early and quietly. He's right- there is too much fun to be had each day to sleep hours after sunshine hits.


This year has been a "quarter-life crisis" for me, as Superman calls it. I've spent a lot of time thinking about what I want from my life, thinking back on all the changes, what I used to love and desire, trying to sort out my current wants. I've felt for awhile that I want to perform again, that I want to get back to some of that old life. But then the opportunity actually presented itself just a few weeks ago and I had to truly consider what I wanted and what is important to me. I was amazed to find that this opportunity confirmed the present-day truth- I am exactly where I want to be right now.


Maybe it isn't artistic or musical or anywhere close to where I imagined a decade back, but perfect for right now.
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