Thursday, December 8, 2016

Week 8 SPACE

Week 8

SPACE- The Final Frontier

Tuesday saw us attending our last SPACE session, and since we're leaving a week earlier then everyone else, it was Francis' graduation day.

Photo Credit: Anna Bird

Photo Credit : Anna Bird

It was really sad for us to be at our last day, although there are three more special sessions we hope to attend next year. When asked to share what had been the highlights of our SPACE experience a couple of things stood out for us.

We’ve really like the old fashioned sense of community that SPACE has given us. It really is a meeting of parents and babies/toddlers all going through the same stages at about the same time. It’s been about openly sharing our woes, and our triumphs, and supporting each other and being supported. It’s about learning how to interact with your child and with other children too, and to realize that some days the things that were really getting you down or worried pale into insignificance when compared with some of the issues other parents are having. It’s been about meeting and making new friends and being open to different ways of parenting and different philosophies of life with a total lack of judgment. I think that lack of judgment really bred the air of complete openness amongst the group.  It’s been about finding surrogate families to share with since our own are so many miles away. It’s been about the communal spirit and the idea that it takes a village to raise a child. It’s about letting the kids be kids and observing them in a safe place without too much adult interference, letting them discover their own boundaries and occasionally learn what happens when they push them too far (F had at least one fat lip from falling over). It’s also about parents learning that their kids are pretty robust and it’s okay for them to test their limits. It’s about learning together and from each other. It’s about great facilitators who bring great ideas week after week and who are also willing to leave their own agendas at the door and let the parents decide what they want to do.

And it’s also been about lots and lots of fun! Here’s some photo highlights from recent weeks :

Matchy- Match Day :

Photo Credit : Anna Bird

One of the mums suggested the kids and parents dress the same. An easy one for us!

Play Centre Day:

Photo credit: Joanne Gaylor and Dianne Newman

Photo credit : Joanne Gaylor and Dianne Newman

Photo credit : Joanne Gaylor and Dianne Newman

 We played with puzzles, made some gingerbread biscuits (cookies) and then cleaned up after ourselves!

Sand Play day:

Photo credit: Joanne Gaylor and Dianne Newman

Photo credit: Joanne Gaylor and Dianne Newman

Photo credit : Joanne Gaylor and Dianne Newman

Great weather for messing about in the sand pit! I also discovered Factor 60 sun lotion is great substitute for hair ge.

Thank you Dianne and Jo for being great facilitators and to all the other SPACE parents and kids. We’ve loved our time there and it was truly the thing I looked forward to each week.

The Laws of Distraction

I’ve found the secret to getting food into Francis is to give him something to concentrate on and have his hands fully occupied. For example, he likes to put the lid on tubs now, so whilst he is concentrating on that you can offer food to his mouth, and like some amazing reflex his mouth just opens up and you can pop the tasty morsels in.  The puzzles do need to become more complex though. Anyone got a rubix cube they’re not using?

Learning Fast

Francis has become obsessed with lids this last week and putting them on and taking them off. We started with just push on lids but then he really amazed me with screw top lids!

For lunch on Tuesday I assembled a few things on the table and wanted to try one of the food pouches to see if he liked them. If he did I would buy some more for our plane trip later this week. I put a bunch of stuff on the table and then cursed at myself for not having hidden the shiny silver foil pouch as he became quite obsessed with it. I could not get food into him and he rejected everything “nutritious: i.e. not shop bought, that I had for him. Finally I gave in and got the pouch out.

F-bomb waved his hands up and down in glee, but when I offered the food end of the pouch to him he was not interested. “Ah the lid” thought I, so I gave him it. He then proceeded to put it back on the pouch…. And then screw the thing on! WTF? He repeated this several times. Once the shock had died down I then used this to my advantage – see "The Laws of Distraction” above - and managed to get him to eat his nutritious food i.e. salmon! He of course had some of the pouch at the end.

Following that he demonstrated to me how he can now push down on the recessed button that makes his dumper truck makes various noises. He’s learning too fast, and I must now keep the cars keys out of reach.

I wonder if we could equate that speed of learning to an adult equivalent? Maybe learning to do a Fast Fourier Transform AND how to tile your bathroom in the same day perhaps?

Now Get Out Of That

Within a minute of these photo’s a four point harness for his chair was ordered!  Hooray for the internet!


The Bottom Line:

2 – resignations of world Prime Ministers this week. One in Italy and our very own John Keys. Something smells fishy about the JK one.
148,500 – US dollars that my old house in California is still under water by, seven years after I sent the keys back to the bank! Housing bubbles are very scary.

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