the first day…

January Day 01.jpg

TOP: our form drawing lesson books (Sun’s, mine, and Moon’s)
BOTTOM 1: Sun and Moon tracing the forms in the book Creative Form Drawing
BOTTOM 2: Sun and Moon walking the forms in the kitchen
BOTTOM 3: Moon exploring Oneness
BOTTOM 4: Sun’s daily math work with his sister’s counting rods

Today was definitely a Monday. Ugh. I woke up late (not late enough to make HL late to school, or to cause really any issues, but late enough that I didn’t get my self-care in); we had a very, VERY late start to our lessons (like 12PM late); and, to top it all off, the bread we made this afternoon was not what I thought it would be. But, you want to know what? We made it through today, and no one had any real major meltdowns. We had some minor ones, but after some explanation, peace filled the air.

Today has been a day of many lessons, for me mostly. One of the biggest things I learned was that we cannot, absolutely cannot, start late. I need to have the will to set aside some things and get to the lessons. I also learned that we definitely need to make sure we do the date, day Gnome, and do our calendar wheel – which I need to fill in with some of our rhythms! Final morning lesson I learned, for the time before and at the beginning of lessons, is that I really REALLY need at least 30 minutes in the morning to do some much-needed self-care. Some coffee, some nice and gentle classical music, and my cards. I haven’t prayed for days because I have been so stressed out. I saw that in myself today, in the way I put off and put off lessons.

Sun needs his rhythm written down and laid out for him, and he cannot deviate from it. Any deviation seems to cause him anxiety. Somethings less than others, I’ll be the first to admit (he was so set on going home after we had to make an impromptu trip to Target so he could eat his snack and play outside, but we adults decided to take them to the park and it threw him off for a bit before we arrived). But, it was apparent today that anything we might be doing needs to go down on the rhythm for his benefit. I have also been trying to tell him at least 15 minutes before we have to leave that we will be leaving – this has alleviated some of the intensity of his meltdowns, but has not saved him from the anxiety that being rushed and pulled out of the house seems to bring on for him.

Another lesson, learned the hard way, was that I cannot leave him to do his work on his own. It just won’t get done. So, I guided him to the table and we sat down and did the work together. He really needs someone there to bounce ideas off of and to check his work, or he will get horribly distracted (not as bad as he does without his medication, but still bad); and honestly, I prefer having him here at the table, even when my focus is on Moon. We weren’t able to get to the entire lesson today, but that is alright. Have a plan, but be flexible!

Speaking of Moon… She has decided that naps just aren’t for her anymore. And most days, it shows how much growing up she had done over the last few months. And, having Melatonin as part of the nightly rhythm has helped both Sun and Moon tremendously! We switched Sun’s night medication to the morning with his other one, and have started giving both of my Littles Melatonin at night about an hour or two before bedtime. This has made the transition so much easier. Sun even seems to be building a more typical sleep pattern, which is fantastic!

Also speaking of transitions… I have learned just how powerful a verse or a song (or a verse turned into a song) truly is when it comes to drawing the children in and setting the tone for the next activity or lesson or duty. I sang a cleanup verse, and there was no fighting against it when I began cleaning up the living room – they helped right away, and even started singing with me; when the timer went off and it was time to start lessons, a simple verse said on the porch got their attention and they ran inside to begin.

Making bread has been an anxiety-inducing concept since putting my whole heart into Waldorf. First of all, I hate scratchy stuff on my hands, and flour is scratchy like fine-grained sand. It was not the most pleasant experience, that flour. However, I saw just how potent the experience truly is for all ages, and I refuse to forego this tradition any longer. I might have been super unhappy with how it turned out, but all three of the kids (including the resident bread hater) ate their fill of bread and barely touched their spaghetti. Their hands made that bread. Their ears heard the directions, their eyes saw the ingredients, and their hearts poured into each roll they formed. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get any photos of the bread-making process or the product, but I hope that in the coming weeks we will have at least a few shots of our newfound tradition.

So, overall I am proud of our day today. We completed Head, Heart, and Hands – Main Lesson, Form Drawing, and Baking bread. We had a relatively peaceful day, even when HL came home (OH! the kids even started straightening up the bedroom, without a fuss!). So many lessons learned from the most simple of interactions with my children.

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