In the past when I've seen pictures on other Montessori blogs I have marveled at what the infants and children are capable of doing. It's easy to compare my children or get discouraged. When I was doing research on infant Montessori while I was pregnant I read something on a blog that really rang true to me. The mother said "Nobody said it was going to be easy". Yes light bulb moment.
We see the pictures of the children doing whatever impressive, independent thing they are doing but rarely do we see the pictures of the days and hours of lead up to those pictures.
Baby J can now pick up his own glass and drink out of it. He has just turned 8 months and has been doing this for a month now. He did not start off this way. The first day we started giving him food we also started giving him a tiny glass with a tiny amount of water in it. At first we brought the glass to his mouth and let him practice drinking. It was messy and wet but after a few days he got the hang of it. We then offered him the glass and helped him put his tiny hands around it to hold it while drinking while we still supported the glass. When he was confident holding the glass by himself we let go and just offered it to him and then took it from him when he was done. Once he had mastered that we put the glass on his table and helped him to pick it up from there. He is now able to do all of this by himself and we are working on the last part of him returning his glass to his table.
So when some people see this picture they may think it is remarkable however Baby J has been working toward this every meal of every day for two months. Slow and steady brings results. It just takes time, patience and persistence. Thanks to that Montessori mommy blogger my new mantra is "Nobody said it was going to be easy" and then I think but oh the payoff in the end is so worth it.
Another example is that after Baby J eats his meals I take the food away and give him his wet cloth. This signals that the meal is over and also that it is time to clean up. He takes the cloth and wipes down his tray(as well as playing peekaboo with it if his sister is around!). Of course he messes about with the cloth and explores with it but he is also quite serious about cleaning his table. Usually he does a thorough job and wipes all of the edges. It is really so cute. Once again this took time. At first I did the wiping of his table while he watched and then gave him the cloth. Eventually he started to experiment with wiping and moving the cloth about and now he seriously cleans his own table!
It truly is remarkable what the smallest infants are capable of if we just give them the opportunity!
Speaking of slow and steady I brought an old work mat of L's upstairs for when I am ready to use it with the two babies. The other day I came across L doing this......
Ahh I love Montessori!