Tom has been chopping down tress with the hand saw recently and Bear has been watching carefully. We gave him a small pruning saw at first to work with because he was so engaged and desperate to join in.
My mother-in-law was a bit concerned about us giving the almost-2-year-old a saw to use. It is certainly not a toy. It should not be played with. But an almost-2-year-old can do real work if he has real tools.
I am not reckless. He can't actually hurt himself with the saw. The teeth aren't sharp enough to cut him by accident. He could hurt someone else with it and he could damage our furniture with it so he is only allowed to have it when we are able to supervise him. An advantage of the pruning saw is that it locks closed so he needs to bring it to us if he wants to use it. But best of all he can really saw wood with it.
I enforce the correct use of the saw by explaining the rules and redirecting him. It is only for sawing. He mustn't knock the windows with it. He mustn't swing it around. He mustn't hit the dog with it! He isn't allowed to saw living trees. He has been happy to accept these rules if he's pointed toward something he is allowed to work on.
While I was at work and Tom was at home Bear set himself to work on this branch with Dad's big saw. He started from scratch. First he made a groove then he worked at it steadily throughout the day. He came back to it several times. Steady rhythmical strokes. Finally he cut all the way through! A piece of the branch fell to the ground! I couldn't believe my eyes. He looked at it thoughtfully there on the grass. Then he took his big saw to another little branch and started sawing again.
I'm back! It's taken a little while to settle back into work after maternity leave but I can now finally say that I have settled. What a relief. I find change a real challenge!
Work has barged its fat self back into my timetable and shoved the rest of our lives to the sides. I hadn't quite prepared myself for the bulk of it. Those 19 hours have displaced a lot of things and I'm still negotiating with myself whether I can pack them in more efficiently or if I have to let some go. It's an impossible game of tetris.
There are things that I have been able to delegate. Tom has taken the burden of preparing dinner on the days that I work. We have also divided the household tasks more evenly which has helped enormously.
There are things I probably need to give up for the sake of all our sanities but I'm struggling to let them go. I write down the pros and cons over and over and just can't seem to decide what to do. These mental debates make me long for eternity. I'm desperate for the peace of knowing that I have enough time to do the things I need to do and the things I want to do. Won't that be amazing!!
Montessori has been cruising along on autopilot because I haven't been able to dig up the time or motivation to do any real preparation. Montessori is wonderful in that regard - the beauty of it being a philosophy rather than an instruction manual. It is powered by an attitude in the adult and guided by the development of the child. Tom and I have been giving Bear plenty of freedom and watching him carefully. We've been improvising tools or materials for him as we see a need. Fox is so easy going a lot of the time he forget he's even there! We're still moving forward but I would love to be able to prepare some specific activities for them to dig into.
Has blogging survived the cut? I'm not sure. It hasn't been allocated a space in my timetable yet. Perhaps it will occupy the daily "mental health" space. More realistically I think it is going to turn up in "procrastination". Either way I hope I'll be back from time to time to share the journey.
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.