Maddox has become quite the enthusiastic artist lately. Right around the 3 year mark he became mature enough to handle markers, glue and paint like a pro (and finally without eating any of it). And now that he goes to an enrichment class twice a week, those projects combined with the ones we do at home have covered our fridge. And made the kitchen look cluttered (even though I love looking at his pictures).
So I made an art wall.
I bought two interlocking strips of cork board and alphabet decals. A few push pins later, TA-DA! You could easily put up more, which we will need soon. But we've been switchin out the old art with new ones. We may even frame some of our favorites.
Maddox started "school." I can hardly believe that a. he is old enough and b. I actually caved and signed him up for a program. Even if it is more a mom's-day-out than Pre K.
My how does he love it. Maddox talks about school ALL THE TIME. He asks every day when he gets to go to school, he even asks if he can go back right after we leave to go home.
But he also seems to enjoy our days at home more now to. Most weekdays he wants to spend his time outside just being a kid and protests if we have to go anywhere, which is new.
Today I caught a glimpse into his world away from home. When I dropped him off the boys excitedly greeted him and when we left a little blonde cutie told him good-bye. Friendships at this age are so sweet.
I dread when he will go full-time and try to take photos of all the cute/funny things he is doing. Such as playing doctor in an outfit he picked out by himself..
Countless childrens books and parenting books tout the importance of letting each child be themself. They discuss the importance of allowing a child to be who they are, explore their interests and talents, and express their feelings in the way that feels "right." Young children still need some guidance, but it takes a parent stopping and listening to really know who their child is and is becoming.
The last three years I've watched my oldest blossom into the person he is becoming. He is outgoing, sweet, inquisitive, soft-hearted, and (not but) also strong-willed, active, loud, and more of a talker than a listener.
He has become a second set of hands for me and an eager helper.
And as time goes on, I hope I can take the time to really "know" my kids. I want to give them permission to be who they are and tell me what they think, even if we don't agree. I want to be supportive of the ambitious and trivial pursuits. And the same person to them in public as I am in private.
Looking back at my own life, it's especially important to me. Because I wish I'd had the same permission.
The Knoxville Lisa Ross Moms Group, which I am a part of, was asked to come down to the birth center yesterday to give our opinions on the latest TIME magazine cover. The photo shows a 3-year old standing on a stool nursing, while his mother is posed defiantly looking at the camera. The headline reads, "Are You Mom Enough?"
The cover quickly spread through the media with nearly everyone spouting their opinions. Some were informative, many were anti-extended breast-feeding in some form and a few even took it to a sexual extreme.
Who knew so many (mostly parents and the majority other mothers) had such strong opinions on the "right" and "wrong" way to nuture a child?
In a world where mothers, adults, and even young people march in the streets for the right to abort their unborn children, should that same society really give a mother who chooses to nurture her child in a very natural way for an extended period of time really get bashed so unashamedly? Who is anyone to tell any mother they must "cover up," "put it in a cup," or "hide in a bathroom" if she must do something so selfless as choose to provide nutrition to her young.
Sadly, formula companies have gained the lead in America with more advertising dollars and providing financial support and free formula samples to the midical community than natural parenting institutes. And slowly but surely changed the mind-set of modern America into a "can is better than the breast" mentality. While society feeds us images that sexualize women and their breasts as something to ogle. Have we really back-slid into believing breasts are only sexual? That they should be shielded out of sight if used as a feeding tool, only exposed in low-cut and sensual clothing? Really?!?