Well, this past week or two has been more about learning life lessons than "classroom" lessons. Who is learning the lessons? Well, that is debatable. Possibly Mama Monkey is learning more life lessons than Big Monkey. Baby Monkey is of course nothing but a sponge and absorbs everything! So maybe he has us all beat. Here he is figuring out how to stand on top of the table despite no chairs (I have since moved it).
Baby Monkey has also been enjoying art time. He is picking up on the coloring skill and has decided that crayons are not always just for eating (although this still seems to be their main purpose).
He also enjoyed painting for the first time! He actually used the brush to spread around a blob of paint and didn't put any of it in his mouth! Big Monkey enjoyed using his hands more.
Big Monkey's current life lesson is "we can't always get exactly what we want." This is coming in many forms recently. Big Monkey attempts to dictate every move of our day. If he doesn't want to go outside, then he tries to keep us from going outside. I am gently discouraging such behavior. Sometimes it's impossible - I can't take Baby Monkey outside and leave Big Monkey inside alone. That's just not a safe option. Instead, Big Monkey occasionally wins that battle and occasionally has to stand by the back door outside complaining for a little while (just long enough to seem like an eternity for Big Monkey - so that is what, 5 minutes?) while Baby Monkey and I play. Sometimes he decides to join us instead. Whew, this is a hard lesson for both Big Monkey and myself. It's all worth it though when we all get to have some sandbox fun.
This is also taking place during our soccer lessons. Big Monkey started last week and goes once a week for 30 minutes. We've been twice. Well, both times he has kicked the ball around a little and then either 1) sits on the ball like a chicken egg (as his coach says) or 2) bolts for the car/stroller with me running after him to direct him back to the game. I've successfully gotten him back involved with kicking the ball by altering the games a little to suit his interests without changing it to the point that he thinks he is getting his own way. Obviously doing things we don't necessarily want to do and following rules is something we need to start working on. Yes, I realize that if he were in preschool he would be learning these things (you know some of you were thinking this), but that is the point of homepreschool! I have to find ways/activities to teach him these lessons and skills. More work for me, but at least I can make sure he is responding the way I would like him to! I will try to snap a photo of Big Monkey playing soccer next week - or at least one of him bolting for the car.
Mama Monkey's life lesson this week - the terrible twos are so overhyped and everyone forgets to prepare mamas for the threes and other following years, which are much harder. Or at least come with challenges that are much more important. Yes, the twos are not "easy," but at least I was prepared. Child throws himself on floor screaming and kicking because he has a desire or thought that he just can't quite communicate with you. Frustrating yes, but you pull out your hair, take a deep breath, talk to your child, and eventually they start to communicate better. The threes have brought on a whole slew of new challenges. Big Monkey is testing out the waters of "manipulation." Maybe that is too strong of a word (possibly testing boundaries sounds nicer?), but it sure feels that way! He tries to claim that something hurts or that he doesn't feel well in order to 1) watch tv, 2) delay going to sleep, 3) try to get out of getting in trouble. Oh and he'll go from his tummy hurts, to his head, to his foot, to he is just hungry all in a 3 minute time frame. Fastest moving aches and pains problem that I've ever seen. Whew, it's all just a phase. It's all just a phase. I'll just keep telling myself that for the next year.