Kindergarten with a Toddler in Tow

I mentioned in a recent post that sometimes my younger daughter, Claire, is so much work that I want to invest in a baby cage. This is still true. It is not her fault. She is just at that age.

That climbing, exploring, limit testing, terrible twos come-early stage. (Honestly, two is nothing compared to 18 to 24 months. That's the time when serious aggravation begins.).

With Claire it is compounded because she is very "type A." She knows what she wants and doesn't give up or accept excuses. She is also very brave. When Coryn first learned to climb the stairs she would climb up onto the landing (one step up) and sit there and whine until I rescued her. Claire doesn't need rescued. She climbs EVERYTHING. She jumps off EVERYTHING. She gets into EVERYTHING.

I keep telling myself that these traits will grant her much success later in life. From what I've noted so  far, Coryn seems to have more of my personality, definitely type B. I don't stress over much but often I don't try very hard either. We love our short cuts and are often content with "close enough." I like being this way because I can remember very few times in my life that I have actually considered myself stressed or overwhelmed (Last week was one of them, though) and all of those incidents there had a sleep deprivation or hormonal issue involved (maybe both). Watching Claire get frustrated when she can't put on her own shoes but still keep chugging forward in attempt after thwarted attempt, I think, yeah, this kid will get a lot done someday.

In the meantime she's a lot of work.

Take yesterday.

Yesterday Coryn and I were going to read a little bit of Days with Frog and Toad for her reading lesson, but Claire, being Claire, was determined to have the full attention of both myself and her big sister.

She repeatedly climbed up onto the couch where we were sitting and threw herself across our laps, on top of the book, where she would lie, giggling up at us until she was forcibly removed and placed back on the floor (only to make the climb again, of course.).

After she had made two or three dive bombing missions, I said, "Claire Bear, do you  want to play with your markers?"

I wouldn't say Claire Bear's eyes "lit up," but there was an immediate alteration to her visage, an intensity. Her eyes widened and she lost her grin but not to unhappiness; she simply wasn't interested in being silly any more. Markers are serious business.

She scrambled down from the couch and started to push her easel (you can read about her easel and why it is an essential part of our school day here) out from the corner into the middle of the room. I got out the jar of dry erase markers and soon she was busily scribbling on the white board side of her easel.

baby artwork
This bought us about  five minutes of reading time before Claire got another bright idea. She toddled over and started to use her blue marker to color in Coryn's toenails while Coryn read.

pedicure by Claire
By the time I got my camera, she had finished with Coryn's nails but she then moved onto mine and colored all my nails too.

She was very intent and Coryn and I managed to get through a chapter of Frog and Toad while she worked on our feet. Of course, then Coryn wanted in on it, and they got crazy carried away.

I thought, what the heck and let them draw on themselves and myself for quite a while. It was a nice way to break up the school day for Coryn and the markers are mostly washable. . . they'll come off eventually, I think. My feet are still partially blue. 

I still need more baby distraction techniques. This morning, while longing again for a baby cage so  that Coryn and I could get through math uninterrupted, I realized that we do have  a fenced in back yard. This is actually the part of the year where it is kind of nice outside here (as opposed to way too hot and humid) and Claire loves outside, so I kicked her out in the yard. I could see her through the glass doors and she thought she was hot stuff, toddling around in the grass on her own.

But hey, we got our  school done!

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  1. You have a budding artist, I love it! :)

  2. I think the whiteboard idea is a good one. I will try it! Thanks for commenting on my post.

    1. it is, though you do kind of need an eye on them because Claire rarely (never, actually) stays on the whiteboard. She moves onto coloring things she shouldn't after a bit with great consistency.


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