I know I go on about repetition all the time, but seriously, it's so exciting to watch this little boy at work! The past few days, Finlay has become obsessed with his press-button frame and has been choosing this work over and over again. I'm amazed at how easily he opens and closes the buttons now after so much repetition. The dressing frames have been in our home for many months and he has occasionally used them but mostly they have been sitting untouched. Lately Fin has been interested in the press-buttons ("buh-bom") on his clothing so a couple of days ago I did a little presentation of the press-button frame to him... what a hit! It is amazing to see the Sensitive Periods so clearly at work.
This video shows about 4 minutes of what went on to be a 40 minute work cycle:
Yet again, Finlay himself is reminding me of what my role is at this stage of his development: prepare the environment, encourage independence and then.... back off! He sometimes asks me to sit next to him and occasionally requests that I do a couple of buttons. It is as if he wants a little 're-presentation' to check that he has all the details. Then he very clearly pushes my hands away, says "no" and gets back to work. When he completes his cycle of activity he either says, "done" or "di-dish" (finished) and puts the dressing frame back on it's stand. I really didn't expect cycles of activity like this from an 18 month-old, but it is very exciting to discover what is possible just by observing him.
Last night, right at bed-time (7pm), Fin picked up the frame and wanted to work. I was really torn between allowing him to choose to work, or insisting that he go to bed. Brent jokingly said, "What would Maria do?", and of course I knew that Madame Maria would allow the child to choose when they needed to work, and when they needed to sleep. Well, he sat and sat and sat with this frame... Meanwhile I paced the floor, Brent dimmed the lights and we waited. And can I tell you that even after years of being a Montessori teacher and disciplining myself NEVER to interrupt a concentrating child, it was SO hard not to interrupt him and put him to bed. Isn't bed-time sacred? What if his routine is disturbed and he can't get to sleep later?
8pm came round, Fin looked up, said "done", put the frame away, took my hand, led me to his bedroom and went straight to sleep. There's a lesson for you, Mummy. Lesson learned, thank you Fin.