Monday, October 10, 2016
Toddlers at home
I have been having a hard time doing the "basic", physical things such as cooking, cleaning, feeding and bathing our kids and get frustrated about not getting to the more "spiritual" things, such as our kids' "education", ordering liturgical books, doing fun things as a family, visiting friends, etc. I put all these things in quotation marks, of course, because Jesus's Incarnation and Theology of the Body teach us the physical things are spiritual too.
But when I get frustrated with my lack of ability to get to things, the first thing I start feeling bad about is Addie at home. Modern society tells me she is bored and needs to be constantly entertained... either at a daycare or with TV, games, coloring sheets, etc.
So I have been constantly reminding myself of Auntie Leila's concept of "collective memory". We shouldn't copy things exclusively from the past, because modern things are good too... but it's not a black and white "modern things are better than old things". There should be a continuum with the past, a connection. And I really think this thing of "entertaining", "educating" and especially sending toddlers to school all day is an exclusively modern thing. It helps me to think, as Auntie Leila suggests, "what would Ma do?" And in Laura Ingalls Wilder's books toddlers stay at home with Ma, being watched by older siblings and playing by themselves.
I watch Addie's little friend interact with his grandma, who takes care of him during the day while his parents work and think: yes, maybe he would be more "entertained" at daycare with all the educational activities (and where everyone thinks he should be), but for sure the workers wouldn't love him like his grandma loves him. And really, what kind of "education" are we talking about? Being and feeling loved is the most I could want for my toddler or any toddler. I think this while I watch his grandma kiss him as she takes him out of the swing.
And I try to cut myself some slack. Addie seems bored sometimes, I get frustrated... a lot... but we're in this together. And that's what family is.
...By the way, we watched the movie Little Miss Sunshine yesterday, which is about family, and loved it. Have you seen it?