Welcome to 'A Montessori Home'.
With so many of our friends and family living in far-off lands, I hope that this blog might help our loved-ones get to know our gorgeous Finlay as he grows up. I also hope that these posts may provide inspiration, provoke thought and conversation about creating beautiful Montessori environments for infants and toddlers at home. I'm always happy to hear your comments, thoughts and suggestions. Feel free to pop in now and then to see what we're up to!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Small miracles

I was beginning to wonder if it would ever happen.

Every book I've read on Montessori for 0-3 year olds proclaims the floor bed is an aid to the child's developing independence and promotes freedom of movement. Well, yes, I believe all that but how do you actually get them to sleep?? In our case, since Finlay was able to slither out of bed by himself (at about 6 months), he has been unable to go to sleep without breast-feeding. Why would you go to sleep when you could get out of bed and look at books, practice standing up, open and close the wardrobe, pull all of the clothes out of the wardrobe etc.? Though I questioned myself endlessly, I continued to feed him to sleep because I couldn't stand to listen to him crying when he had tired himself to exhaustion.

A few times Brent came out of Fin's room sighing, 'We're getting a cot.' Other days I considered trying a dummy. Neither of those items entered the house, purely because of my sheer determination (craziness?) to follow Montessori principles to the letter, but we definitely thought about it. Where had my faith gone?

As a Montessori teacher, I'm used to having faith in the 'child who is not yet there'. Even the most destructive child has the potential for goodness. The most timid child has the potential for bravery. But would my own little boy ever learn to go to sleep on his own, or was I destined to feed him to sleep forever?

Then yesterday, after I had left him in bed not-quite-asleep, something strange happened. I heard him moving around as usual, pulling things off his shelves, rattling his door, babbling to himself, complaining a little, then.... silence. After a little while I peeped in and he was asleep on his bed! The same thing happened this evening. We've turned the corner.

I don't expect this to be the last time he ever needs my assistance to get to sleep but at least now we know this new reality is possible. My faith is back.

Meanwhile, my days are still being spent arranging and re-arranging the furniture to come up with the best layout for our 0-3 environment. I think I'll be doing this for the next few weeks!
Happily, we now have enough space for Brent and I to practice our morning yoga, much to Fin's delight:

And a final goodbye from my new favorite spot....

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Our first crop of strawberries for the season! I think they like the view because they have absolutely thrived since we moved to the new house.

I'm feeling much like those strawberries. The weeks we spent painting and moving into the house were utterly exhausting and stressful, but somehow I feel better now than I have all year. It must be true that nature revives the soul because when I wake up each morning and look out of our kitchen window at this magnificent view I feel filled up with happiness. The house itself has been another source of joy. Lovely, open spaces and tons of sunlight - what more could I ask for? It truly is the house I had dreamed of.

I've been visualising this house for a long time. Planning the layout, imagining how I would set up the space for my daycare business - every detail has been conjured up in daydreams and lists. I didn't realise how much weight all these details had accumulated on my shoulders. Now that I finally have the outlet to make it all reality I feel as light as a feather, and ridiculously happy.

I could go on and on about the new house and how incredible it has been to watch Fin explore our new space, but I'll have to save that for another day. For now, a pictorial celebration of nature, food and our nine-month-old Finlay....