Ahem. There is hardly room for ONE in the studio but as Little R begins exploring painting and drawing she needs a space to work. So I reorganized and moved some things around to give her a spot. Of course, the idea that we could both work peacefully at our respective desks for very long is a bit of a dream. Still, having adjacent creative spaces pleases me. I have this notion that the areas that are set up for her to play and work should in some way fit with the way we use the house.
And, as a handy bonus, the bench (yep, I built that) I have set up as her table is perfect for me to stand on and reach the high shelves in the cupboard/closet.
Little R has been doing a lot of work with beans. Beans, chickpeas, lentils, rice…. Oh, those old sensory standbys. She will work with beans with various measuring containers, spoons, and especially little pots with lids, for ages. After offering them one day, and seeing how much she loved them, I had a weird moment where I thought I should somehow “save it up” and offer this kind of thing only occasionally so she would still be really excited by it. Fortunately, I checked that, and realized that I should be supporting this interest by making it possible for her to continue her exploration. So she has had beans and pots and jars for several days now. Her fine motor skills have developed rapidly. She is pouring beans back and forth from variously sized containers in a way that she could not have done just a few days ago. Even just the sheer amount of time she is happy to spend at this is telling. So we’ll keep up the work with beans!
Last night I baked my first loaf for Sourdough Rye bread. I don’t think rye is ever an overly attractive loaf but I’m proud of it nonetheless. The starter was made following the recipe in Wild Fermentation and is nothing but organic rye flour and water. So much flavour! I’m very excited about this foray into sourdough.
I have felt a shift. Little R seems to have moved, imperceptibly and at the same time all at once, from baby to toddler, or almost toddler. And this shift me thinking about how we do things, about space, and our days. The teacher in me, or my experience as a teacher, at any rate, is stirring a little, as I remember thoughts and ideas. At the same time, this is new to me as a mother, so I feel certain I will be learning, changing things, discovering things. When she first learned to crawl, the modus operandi was EXPLORE, and I knew that traveling through the house (and roaming over the grass) was exactly what she need. And she was always very engrossed in her work as she took the house apart! But with this “shift” I’m talking about, the curious taking apart became a little bit more repetitive and I sensed that she might enjoy something with…how to put it…a little more meaning.
I’ve gathered up all the toys and in their place have been focusing on creating some “areas” for Little R. At various points so far, I’ve tried something similar, but now that Little R is older it seems to make even more sense. Nature table, block area, book corner, and some low tables that can serve as her “work stations”. I have various other ideas, which I may post about later as I complete them. And then, while she is sleeping, I put together a few activities or baskets for her to explore. A bowl and lid full of feathers, a piggybank and change. Yesterday I set up a little table of three vases, with some branches we picked up on a walk for arranging.
I feel I could write a long untidy post (getting there already) about my thoughts on this. I could discuss philosophies. But I’ll try to hold off. These are just first steps.