June and Grug became part of our family in October 2012. We were on our way home after celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary at Janolan Caves. We finally decided after long discussions in the car to buy some guinea-pigs. We found June in a pet shop in Bathurst and Grug in Orange. It wasn't long after we got home that I found out I was pregnant with Bear!
I'm glad we made that impulsive decision. Guinea-pigs have always been my favourite pets. Bear loves them and they provide all sorts of Montessori opportunities.
The guinea-pigs live in a corner of the "school room" at the moment. I put out the bowl of cut up fruit or veg and some pellets so that Bear can feed them every morning. In time I think he'll love chopping up their treats himself.
Twice per week we clean out the cage together. Bear helps collect the straw, fill up the cage and sweep up the mess.
Once a week we clean their food dish and water bottle (a great excuse to get wet when it's 35 degrees!)
We enjoy their company anytime!
I feel like we've settled into a new routine. Finally each week looks the same. I get to enjoy Bear's company 4 and a half days per week. We get to spend 1 and a half days per week together as a family. Only 2 and a half days of work.
I used to be a routines and schedules person. Bear doesn't work like that! There's no doubt that he loves things to be predictable and ordered. But he also needs to take his time.
So our "routine" has morphed into a "rhythm" that flows along through the day when we're at home together. It looks a little something like this:
I wake and get started in blissful quiet. I take the dog for a walk and get as many chores done as I can before Bear wakes up. (Thanks to the Gro-clock I usually get a whole hour to myself in the morning).
Bear gets up and has breakfast
We brush our teeth and hair together and Bear gets dressed
We head outside - we go for a nature walk, feed the chickens, or just play in the yard
Morning tea then inside time
While Bear's busy working on something I do some work nearby. (Things like sweeping, dusting, folding, tidying. Things that Bear can join in if he's interested. Things I can put straight down if he needs a hand. Things that won't prevent me from observing him or distract him from some other work).
New in the "schoolroom" this week: food for the guinea-pigs and water for the pot plant.
Lunch then a sleep
Outing or more directed activity - we tried peeling banana pieces and chopping playdough this week.
Daddy gets home! Some time with Dad while I get dinner ready - usually playing outside, a shower or wrestling!
"Sitting Still" practice
Playing games together, usually outside
Teeth, nappy, PJs, then we all take the dog for a walk with Bear in the babybjorn
The year has begun...
I haven't found my feet yet. So far I have not been coping very well with the big changes that have slammed our family.
I'm just getting my head around my new job (yikes I hate that incompetent, clumsy feeling of starting something new), having a husband in full time work (I need to adjust my expectations of what he is able to help out with at home), Bear in daycare (just getting to and from in time is pushing me to the limits!! Then I bring home an extra tired toddler two days per week) and gestational diabetes (changing my diet, monitoring my sugars, squeezing in extra appointments, managing my anxieties and irrational fears...).
I am an exhausted, emotional mess. I have only just been dragging myself through the days.
So Bear's Montessori has taken a back seat. I have barely even seen him over the last 2 weeks between trips to Sydney, trips to Bathurst and work! Each time I do get a little time with him he seems to be a different kid.
All of a sudden he's inventing these complicated games that he plays by himself. Like getting his tip-truck out with a basket of blocks. He loads the truck up then tips them all out. Over and over again. I really miss being able to watch him all day and keep up with what he's interested in.
I have made some progress so we can get started as soon as I do find my feet.
I've made room to store Bear's things when they are off rotation so I know where everything is and I can get to them quickly and easily. Board books in one area. Big toys and empty baskets/trays in another.
A music section. Small materials. Art supplies (lots of room for more!). Puzzles. Miniatures.
Finally this week I get to spend some time at home. Our new routine will start properly and give us some reprieve.
We can slow down.
I'm just going to hang out with my boy.
Get to know him again.
No more changes for now.
My name is Vicky I am wife to Ranger and mum to two boys - Bear (2) and Fox (8 months). Somehow I stumbled across Montessori and now my goal is to raise and educate my children with a Montessori philosophy in country NSW Australia.