Happy New Year!
This is the first RIE in Real Life of 2023, and I haven’t seen a baby or had a class in weeks…I miss it and I’m ready to get back to what I love! But I admit after being away from class for so long, I was a little stymied when I thought about what I’d write about today…
I suppose I could share about a new child development podcast I’ve become intrigued by, or share about the books I’m reading …oh, or announce that I’m going to start a new bookclub . (Which I am! Details below*!)
But none of that really inspired me. In fact, nothing much has been inspiring as of late. The holidays arrived and exited with little fanfare because first I was sick and then my husband was. Our house projects are similarly stalled, with a big pile of RIE furniture in heap in the main room while we try to figure out how we’re going to configure the space…my desk wasn’t even functional because we temporarily relocated the desk chair to my husband’s office (which our cats have appropriated, but since they leave him alone when the chair is there…it’s been residing there). But time is marching on, classes are resuming this weekend, new classes are forming**, and it’s Friday…time to write!
So, I told the kitties they were out of luck (poor them…they have to sleep on the bed, or the couch, or some blankets, or in their expensive cat condo that they only use as a launching pad…) and rolled the chair back to its rightful home. And you know…things started clicking. I closed my 2022 bookkeeping file, started a new one, filed some things with the city, even wrote a couple of thank you notes. It sounds silly when I say it, but simply coming back to sitting at my desk helped me get back into a productive state of mind…And yes it sounds silly, but what really happened is that my environment was now supportive to what I needed to get done. My files were close at hand, I had pens and notecards nearby, and I had my two monitors again (that’s the ONE thing I learned from working in an office…multiple monitors make life sooooo much better). In short: My environment supported me.
One of Magda Gerber’s basic principles is centered on creating environments for children…specifically, creating physically safe, cognitively challenging, and emotionally nurturing spaces. And creating spaces for children to play and thrive in is one of my absolute favorite things to do. I love organizing toys, placing equipment in new ways, putting just a little bit of a challenge into the space. I want to make it a place that draws in people, a place to spend some peaceful time. But in my time as a teacher, I’ve also realized the value of setting the environment to support adults. I just forgot!
I wonder what other lessons I’ll remember when I’m back with the babies? Time will tell.
What have you learned or re-learned lately? Let me know!
*I’m starting this year with the book that started my book clubs: Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids . This book is meant to be read a week at a time…broken into 8 chapters, the first 4 focus on you…your triggers, your patterns, your gifts. The second 4 focus on your relationship with your child. It’s a book that’s less about being read and more about being useful. Email me if you’d like to join the discussion!
**Yes! New classes…I’m gearing up for a young baby class (babies on their backs) on Tuesday mornings, and looking for families to help populate a young toddler class, date and time TBD. Please email me for details!