Confession: I put my kids on TV too much. Since I've had Hiro, I've been letting Zaki watch Netflix/Youtube/TV from sun up to sun down (not really, but definitely more than he should). I could nurse Hiro without the given interruption from Zaki. It's one of those things, you know, that you'd swear you would never do before you had kids. But then you had kids, and bam. I'm really choking on my words. Gasps for air.
But Hiro's transitioned to a better stage now. His naps and meals have been synchronized to Zaki's schedule. To be honest, it's been months since their schedules have synced. But I haven't let my babysitter-TV go. I was so comfortable with being comfortable.
But I believe in education. I believe that idled hands is equivalent to wasting time. I believe that young children should use their hands to explore the world, instead of sitting on their bums watching Sesame street (even though it's highly educational). They should be able to touch and feel and experiment with their environment. They are very emotional creatures. And being hands-on is the best way for them to learn.
So as I type this, either I am a hypocrite or a struggling mom, you decide. I have been wrecking my brains trying to find things for them to do. Being snowed in and not able to drive makes it even harder for me to find things for us to do. I am so frustrated that I've decided to share this with the world. Surely, I'm not the only one, am I?
We still do a lot of activities together like reading, colouring, building blocks, dancing, singing, etc. But I feel as though it just isn't enough. I believe I'm not giving them enough opportunities to learn. Because I'm always tired, or I have so many other things to do. But that shouldn't hinder me from providing these learning experiences to them. No excuses.
As a parent, we can't force them to learn something. It depends on the child's capabilities. But we can, however, provide the right environment for them to learn. We can provide the right activities. We can guide them.
In hopes of letting my "babysitter" go, I decided to do my research. I've come up with a list of things. And most likely a list of future mess to clean. But that's okay, it should all be worth it.
Today, we did some finger painting. We got the paint from Michaels. It's supposedly non-toxic. But I still wouldn't risk little brother eating it. So I got little brother to finger paint in a ziplock as shown in the photos above. He would, however, rather taste the ziplock (as I expected). It's supposedly mess-free. But nothing is mess-free when you have kids, really. It's supposed to be taped to his table, but he'd rather grab the entire bag and play with it that way.
Here is older brother with a bib, in hopes of keeping his shirt clean. Nope, it didn't stay clean. And we're sorry lola for accidentally putting some paint on your dining chairs! I got him some toilet paper tubes to stamp with and Q-tips to paint with. But he would rather use his hands.
To be honest, this activity was more work than fun. Zaki was constantly asking for more paint. Hiro got hungry in the middle of this activity (and they just had breakfast). I wanted to sit back and watch them. But instead, I was demanded every single second. It didn't go out as I planned for it to be. I was disappointed towards the end. Yes, there aren't any photos taken during that time. I felt like a failure.
It's hard to break bad habits. It's hard to make a new routine, especially when that routine takes up so much effort (like prepping materials, researching for lesson plans, and actually getting little boys to follow it). It takes time. It takes patience. But I'm sure we'll get there, hopefully.
If you guys have some ideas on what to do with a 9 month old & 2.2 year old, please don't hesitate to gimme a shoutout. I'd love to hear from you!