Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Independence

People often comment on Eamon's independence.  In truth, yes, his nature is to be independent (he is, after all, born of a mama whose favorite toddler words were "I do it!").  However, we try to foster self-sufficiency and confidence at every turn.  Whenever I see an opportunity to allow him to take care of himself, I take it, even if it means cleaning up after him, or taking longer to get the task done.

At 18 months, Eamon is taking showers by himself.  We are a low-soap family, believing strongly in the cleaning power of warm water and friction.  When Eamon gets into the shower, I simply stay in the bathroom with him, observing his creative play, and then remind him he needs to wash his diaper area.

Eamon generally carries his own plate of food too.  Until recently, we put most of his meals in a little glass jelly jar, but he has started asking for a plate.  He's quite adept at carrying his plate in two hands, and has yet to spill.

In my opinion, independence goes hand in hand with contributing to the family.  In the past several weeks, I've started really encouraging Eamon to help with clean up, and trying to help him become aware of messes.  He frequently puts his own clothes in the laundry, and helps fold clean diapers.  This past weekend, he was a huge help in cleaning the house, even going so far as to mop the floor in his room.

His most recent leap into independence has been clothing - he figured out a method for putting on his own shirt.  This unique method means I'll be folding his shirts inside out, but I feel so proud that he's figured it out himself!

Friday, June 22, 2012

On parenting

Lately I've been reading several parenting books.  I'm a consummate researcher (for this, I blame my parents - their answer to my childhood questions was always, "Go look in the encyclopedia"), and I like to have as much knowledge as possible in every interest I have.  Before we decided to start a family, I read every book I could get my hands on about conception, nutrition, prenatal care, and so on.  I have a library of pregnancy, labor, and breastfeeding books.  And now that Eamon is growing into a young boy, I feel it's time to read parenting books.

Our style of parenting is natural and obvious to us, and we don't use it because it's gimmicky or popular (though it has been getting a lot of press lately).  We use it because it makes sense for our family.  We treat our child the way we treat each other.

My parenting philosophy is simple - I treat Eamon as a person, a human who has feelings and needs and a free will.  I respect him and expect him to do the same.  He's a contributing member of our family, and I make sure he knows how he can best contribute (right now, he helps with laundry, cares for the chickens, and sometimes helps to tidy up).  We don't use coercion, threats, or rewards.

Already, the fruits of our parenting style are showing.  Eamon is an even-tempered, gentle, fair soul.  He is generally cooperative, and responds well to reasoning and redirection.  He has little tendency toward violence, as he has no example of violence in his life.  He's loving and free with his affection.  He's an explorer, but knows we are here when he needs help.  He fully understands our family unit, and prefers when we are all together.  He's bright and sensitive, and helps me to know every day that my patience and loving parenting style is working for him.

I really don't need a book - or several - to teach me how to parent, but it's very reassuring to know that other people out there are doing it the same way.  I like seeing the science behind my parenting style, the research that shows I am raising the best child I can.

I just finished The Natural Child, by Jan Hunt.  It's a collection of essays on a variety of subjects, and so many passages spoke right to my heart.  Now I'm working on Attached at the Heart by Barbara Nicholson.  It's my first ever Kindle book, and so far it's a great read.  I'm trying to get my hands on a copy of The Continuum Concept, one of the first books written on attachment parenting.  I'm always on the look-out for new book suggestions, so let me know what your favorites are.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rabbit Hunting

Eamon got a new wagon just the other day, so I decided it was time to get some wagon pictures...  But before we got the wagon to the backyard, we spotted the rabbits!!  We have a large family of rabbits that lives in the brush just past the fence on our property, and they spend most of their time grooming our lawn.

Sweet little rabbits, happily munching away, unaware a toddler is nearby.

Enter toddler!!  


The chase begins.  I'm actually starting to suspect the rabbits like this game, because they often run back and forth in the yard before darting under the fence.

Thank you, sport setting on my camera, for capturing this shot.


Wagon time!


This is the one.  I mean, really.  How adorable is he?


Thursday, June 7, 2012

17 months

I just love this look. 


This is Eamon's new shrug.  He tilts his head all off to the side, and puts his hands out in this
 "Eh, I don't know" kinda way.

New chicks!!  A mixture of ages and breeds - from right to left: Cordelia, an Old English Bantam Game (we think), a no-name Silver Laced Wyandotte, Emily the Easter Egger in the back and then two more SLW.


Eamon's totally in love with his new chicks!  He asks to go see "Corde" all the time, and has to go tell them all goodnight before dark.