Answering Questions

A sweet mom of a two year old little girl left a comment for me the other day with some questions.  I attempted to reply to her with an email, but for some reason despite my sending it repeatedly, she never received it.  This led me to two thoughts–one–if you’ve emailed me in the past (including the past couple of weeks) have you gotten my reply?  As of right now I am pretty well caught up with emails (except for ones received today) so I hope there isn’t anyone out there who thinks I have ignored them.  I am not always able to reply to emails promptly, but usually do within a week or two.

My second thought was that maybe I would just post our little dialogue (because that is what I turned her comment into) here on my blog.  (Blogger has also disabled image downloads for the next couple of hours, so I can’t post what I was planning until later tonight or tomorrow–a giveaway btw) This way I know she will get my reply, and maybe some of you could chime in with your own thoughts.  I am so not an expert on the 18 month to three years old stage.  It’s a delightful age to be sure, but I do wonder if I will ever feel that I have any parenting expertise to offer.  Each child that has joined our family has been so different than the one before, that I always feel like I am starting over, and I guess I always am!  That’s at the heart of following the child though, (right?)

Anyway, here it is:  my words are in blue, hers are in black.

Hi There! I copied your comment into this email blog post, so I could do a good job of replying 🙂

Since last night, I haven’t been able to get the pictures of the aspens out of my mind. Browsing through the comments on that post, I see I’m not the only one who was so impressed. I would definitely shell out for some prints of those photos. They were stunning.

I just emailed the other two women who were interested in them as well. I would be happy to create a custom listing in my Etsy shop for you, if you email me the links to the particular photos you liked. I make photo notecards using nice recycled notecards that I purchase in bulk for that purpose (there is more detail about them in my etsy shop under the current listings.) Because they cost me almost two dollars each to make, I sell them for three dollars each and include a reusable cotton gift bag if you order more than one.
As far as prints go, a matte finish 5 x 7 is ten dollars, and an 8 x 12 is fifteen (I recommend the 8 x12 because no cropping of the original image is necessary), with free shipping for the prints. But don’t feel like you have to buy anything just because I just wrote all this out for you!   (I changed my mind.  It’s a bit too stressful and time consuming to sell prints!)

I love the pictures of your youngest Beatrix. How old is she turning?

Thank you!  She is my most willing subject.  She will turn two mid November.

My little girl just had her second birthday. I wish I could knit like you. I’ve only made one outfit for my daughter and it was sewn, not knit or crocheted.

I haven’t been knitting for that long, once you get started it’s easy to make progress quickly!
I am hoping to find time to sew Beatrix a b-day dress. I feel like I don’t have time for anything but homeschooling and meal planning lately! I used to sew so much!

I’m curious about the age of Larkspur

She turned four last March.

(By the way, I really love the names you’ve picked out for your kids)

Thank you!  Naming babies is so much fun, although we don’t have many ideas for the little one due next spring (but we have plenty of time!) Jonny chose Larkspur’s name. Her first name is actually Eleanor (Larkspur is the first of two middle names), which is my grandmother’s name and what I wish we called her actually! 

I notice you’re doing sewing with her and everything.

Just barely! She’s not very good with it yet. She is really still at the stringing beads/buttons stage but would like to be able to do more. She does do pretty well with a piece of burlap on an embroidery hoop, a yarn needle, and embroidery floss.  When she sews I am re threading the needle every other second and usually having to undo stitches as well. 

I see a lot of home schooling mothers doing bunches of great activities with their little ones. I’ve even read one mama’s account of baking with her 2 year old and I don’t know how that works.

Me either! Beatrix sometimes helps dump in ingredients and she always insists on being the one to use the hand blender to beat the eggs. Honestly, I am so busy with my older children, that while Bea gets plenty of attention (she makes sure of that!), I don’t plan many organized activities for her yet.  I just try to incorporate her into whatever we are doing.  In a big family, I don’t know how else to do it!

Every activity I try to do with my little one ends up with materials flung in every direction.  That seems to be her chief delight.

Larkspur was just like that!!! 

Did your children always take to doing activities with you?

No, not necessarliy, and two is still very young and it really depends on each child’s personality.

My girl wants to be involved in what I’m doing, but I can’t seem to figure out how to involve her and still accomplish anything.

I know– it’s really hard. I am not always patient enough to let my kids be involved when they want to be. Sometimes I just need to get the job done!

If I’m chopping veggies, she wants to do it too.

maybe a butter knite and a banana for her??

If I’m cooking, she wants to cook.

Beatrix does some dumping/pouring and stirring.  She will also sometimes be content just to be plopped on the kitchen counter to watch.

If I’m cleaning, she wants to clean.

Yes, Bea currently sabotages most laundry loads-interuppting cycles and moving half washed clothes to the dryer! She also does like to vacuum.

I’ve tried threading beads with her, but she just wants to throw the beads.

Maybe just the large wooden ones, but she might not even be ready for that! I can’t remember when Larkspur started to calm down and actually sit down with a task for longer than a second without destroying things.

I would love to do more enriching/crafty activities with her, but I don’t want to try and force it either.

You’re right-you can’t force it. Just model for her and she will show you when she is ready. That is usually what gets my kids motivated, watching me making something.

So I guess my 2 questions are: do you let your kids “help” you in daily chores and do you actually accomplish anything that way?

Honestly, I don’t think I am that good at it. If the girls show interest, yes. So sometimes Bea does some vacuuming with our little canister vac. or if I am mopping, she takes charge of the spray bottle (which usually turns into a problem!) and lately Larkspur has been clearing the table and doing a bit of dusting, but I am terribly inconsistent. The boys are older and have regular chores, but probably not enough of them!

And how do I develop in my daughter an interest in craft activities?

Just model for her and be prepared to follow her lead. That is my main technique with all my children in most areas.  Not all my children are crafty.  Keats and Larkspur are the two most interested in crafts.  Gabe prefers sports and playing outside, and Seth prefers…..well…..Seth is mostly interested in fire and guns right now.  But don’t tell anybody about the gun part.  (No he doesn’t have his own!)

She only seems interested in destroying things, not necessarily using them as intended. I don’t even know if that’s a normal stage of development for 2 year olds.

I think it is normal at that age, and probably more prevalent in some kids than others. Like I said, Lark was like that, but Beatrix isn’t as bad about destruction–although she has colored on more walls than my other kids all put together!

Whew. Sorry for the long comment. I’m verbose even in text. =)

No problem! I am really wordy myself. I am just glad you caught me on a night when I have time to send you a decent reply!

Have a great week!

I love to hear from you!