August 9, 2010

Crafty Summer

{Barely a minute ago...}

I think the emotion I am feeling is 'Jealousy'...

Gigi starts preschool this week. My baby is about to embark on her first, first day of school! Without a doubt I am going through the “How is that possible? Yesterday she was...and now she’s… and on her way to preschool!?” There is a tiny catch in my throat – However, I think the strongest emotion I am feeling is jealousy!

 No, not jealous that her teacher gets to spend this time with her. Please don’t get me wrong I’d give anything for the chance to be a fly on the wall! I can only imagine what amazing things she will discover this year! Capabilities she didn’t know she had! Just to see in her face what her teacher will see, as she belly’s up to these new hurdles and eventually bounds right over them!
Oh to bear witness to that…
There is no doubt that I am jealous of her teachers for getting to participate in those amazing, life altering moments!

But that’s not what’s eating me - I am mostly jealous of Gigi!
{Sick - I know!!}
She is going to get to do some pretty cool things this year and I want to do them too! I think I was on the right track when I went to school for P.E. - Trust me I could live out the rest of my days playing parachute games and having scooter races. Play is important in my life – Truthfully, I am not entirely sure that a life without play is a life worth living! Maybe my place in the world was supposed to be in a preschool classroom! But this post really isn’t about me and my “could ‘a- would ‘a- should ‘a’s” !

Being a SAHM {Stay-at-home-mom} has allowed me to re-live the best parts of my childhood – And really isn’t that why we have kids anyway? So that we can go back in time and do it all over again? The girls and I have done some pretty awesome projects this year. I have to say; this age with G has been a ton of fun – Smart enough and needing to be challenged enough for preschool, but not old enough to go. Finding fun activities to stave off the unending heat and the accompanying cabin fever and keep little brains and hands occupied these last several months has been a dream – Except for the Pica!

Yes, for all you preschool and elementary ed teachers out there, I have a Pica child. But trust me – Lula is one Pica child you might actually want in your classroom! Just ask the elementary school counselor down the street who adores her! Lula is the kid that you would go home every day with a story about. A laugh out loud, she made your day kind of story. She is funny and easy going and bright – Yup, she will eat anything she can get her hands on- and arts and crafts do present some big challenges in my house – But she is this bright and amazing little girl who quite often delivers moments like this…

Because of Lu’s Pica we made our own play-dough and have had some great fun with that. {I know play-doh says “non-toxic” but I felt better about Lu’s eating play-dough if I knew exactly what was in it!} FYI- My fellow desert moms – The play-dough I made 4th of July weekend is STILL GOOD! Wax paper and Ziploc bags and it’s still going strong!

We practiced our fine motor skills by creating some fabulous jewelry! G made me bracelet, something that I am rarely seen without I might add! {This was of course a project that was done while Lula was asleep so as to avoid any swallowing of beads}

We painted and colored and even framed some of it! {It took forever to get Lula to a place where more paint ended up on the paper than in her mouth but we got there and I now have 3 framed Lula originals on the wall in the loft next to Gig’s first 3 paintings!}

G discovered how to draw actual people instead of simply scribble. This was a momentous day in our household!

We had fun painting with different objects to see what would happen if…we used apple halves… potato halves…sponges…rocks…hands…feet and of course…brushes

We made some beautiful artwork by folding our paintings in half and discovered the magic of mirror images!

We glued everything – Macaroni, ribbon scraps, foam shapes, beads, jewels, small rocks, pipe cleaners! Glue was a big hit – Craft glue, Elmer’s glue, glue sticks, hot glue gun – I’ll say it again – Glue-Was-A-Big-Hit! {don’t worry I was the only one wielding the hot glue gun! I have the scared and burned fingers to prove it!}

We drew with chalk, markers, crayons, half eaten crayons, half eaten chalk, half eaten markers and pencils.

We hunted for rocks and then painted them, glued eyes and decorations and feathers to them! Named them and lines them up on the kitchen counter for all to admire! {That was a big hit!!}

We made magic wands, egg carton caterpillars, coffee filter butterflies and paper airplanes.

We practiced learning our shapes and coloring inside the lines and cutting with some amazing Kumon Learning workbooks.

We learned how to walk with scissors and how to pass scissors and what a gigantic mess a three year old can happily make with a piece of paper and free reign to just cut paper!

We started our alphabet project and decided after ‘E’ that there was time enough for that once school started … and in the end, creative discovery was more rewarding!

We have had a fun and creative and messy summer -- I know that 6 hours a week at school is a drop in the bucket. There are still 5 other days of the week for us to make all sorts of arts and crafts! But I want to sit in the classroom and create something that someone else thought of, prepared the supplies for and simply revel in the joy of creativity! I am a little jealous that Mrs. U is going to have some engaging craft projects for G each week and I am going to be home wondering when Lula will outgrow eating crayons, and glue and paint and glitter so that she and I could have some arts and craft time just the two of us!

But if I stop and push the jealousy aside for a moment – I can get excited for Gigi and all the amazing things she is going to do and learn this year. I can get excited that although it was only a minute ago she was my tiny little baby, I have known for some time she was ready to take this step and spread her wings a little - And that little evil part of me can be excited at the prospect of ripping off some new and fun craft ideas – There are still two more summers to fill before Lula goes off to preschool you know!!

My baby is going to preschool this week.
Okay.... I'm jealous that her teacher is going to be there for moments that I am going to miss.
I'd be lying if I said it's was mostly about arts and crafts...
I'm jealous. I am.
But I am also so very exctied for my baby.
This is going to be a great year!

I love you Gigi! Mommy is so very proud of you!
My baby is going to school... *sigh*

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Melissa said...

My baby boy starts preschool this year and it is the hardest thing I've EVER done!! Great summer you've had, thanks for some ideas!!

Andrea said...

Can I just say, as a teacher, you are the type of parent we get excited about! You create learning opportunities for your children and they come to school already with a thirst for knowledge and the background to be prepared to explore with their minds! What a great mom you are! What lucky girls you have. :)

Shelbi said...

Thanks Andrea!! That felt really good to hear!

Melissa - Is is so hard b/c it's your youngest?

Anonymous said...

I have to say that if every mother (or father) were able to start their child's education the way you have our jobs (as a teacher) would be much easier. You're baby girl had been able to gain so much background knowledge for her years in school. You have opened her mind to a wonderful place. I am sure she is going to love school. Make sure she tell you all about it!!!!
Auntie Wo-wo

flipflopmama a.k.a. The SassMaster said...

Here's what I know as a mom... Thank God for the other people who will teach them and participate in their lives.
I am a teacher who knows her stuff and is really good at doing it, but with our own kids we never see them with the same lens the rest of the world does. We're not meant to...
Connor LOVES the water - always had. I always reffered to him as my "guppy" and each of the frequent times we visited a pool, he would do amazing things in the water - with a bubble and two floaties. When we went to actual swim esson last winter at the Y, the 17 year old swim coach looked at him and said, "Take that off and come on in." Connor did as he was told and just... swam. First day... no bubble. No floaties. I said to myself, "Thank goodness for Swim Team geek or God knows how long we wouldn't have known he was capable of that."
Like most things about being a mom, it's bittersweet. I just realized the other day that my own childhood is not the only one I'll have had to survive in this life.
Keep your chin up and don't cry 'til you're in the parking lot :-)

Kelli said...

Gigi is going to be a star in pre school thanks to the great job you are doing as a mommy.

And you are right about Lulu (her cheeks and smile just make me fall in love with her over and over again)

Good Luck Grace on your first day of school. We love you! xoxo

LilyBayDreamer said...

Shelb, every mom should learn from your determination to give your children every ounce of independence they desire, but at the same time you guide them and let them know they are not alone.

You are a wonderful role model and an inspiration to those of us who do not have children yet, and to those who do. You let it be known that not every day is a "perfect" day, but it's more than perfection, it's about appreciating the blessings you've been given and going with the changes instead of trying to go against them.

Thank you for sharing your insight and feelings with us. XOXO

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