Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Caution: Children at Work

This is a pretty interesting article on body image post-baby based on a survey done by I found it interesting, and thought other mommies might, too.


I've been thinking lately about Montessori, how a big part of the philosophy is the understanding of children's "work." The idea is that these things that children do, the activities in the classroom and every-day things, too, like spending 5 minutes studying a drawing or picture or banging pots together to listen to the sound they make or learning to tie, it's not "playing," it's work. Those activities are the child's way of learning about the environment around him and about himself and his own development. We use the term work not to mean some sort of chore, but as something that we put effort into, that we enjoy, that we take pride in. It's the kind of work most of us would associate with spending time on a hobby we truly enjoy (say, spending a whole day out in the garden, or reading, or going on a walk and taking pictures, etc) where afterwards we feel refreshed and happy, and not the drudgery of employment (which is the association many think of first and which gives the word "work" its dirty connotation).

It astounds me how everything that D does is this same type of work. Every minute he is developing himself. While awake, when he is eating and drawing in nourishment for his body, and at the same time cuddling with me, breathing in my scent, looking into my eyes, fingering the fabric of my shirt, taking all this information in. While playing, when he is moving his arms and legs and figuring out how to control them and develop his muscles, lifting his head, and also observing everything around him-- the sights, sounds, smells, textures. Even while asleep he is working, processing all the information he's taken in, and I've read that babies do most of their growing while they sleep. I'm reminded of hearing about a man who spent 1 hour going through the types of movements an infant makes, and was completely exhausted afterwards. There is so much going on in that middle brain and body, all the time. Sometimes I look at him and can almost see the wheels turning, the little baby neurons forming and his whole self developing.

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