Archives for category: Lessons from baby Jack

Last night was Dinner Club. Once a month I get together with 9 friends for a warm evening that we all not only look forward to but need in order to stay sane! Sometime during the month someone sends out an email saying it’s time, we decide on who will host and what the theme will be, choose what part of the meal each of us will bring (except for the host, all she does is provide the house!) (which is sometimes a great opportunity to actually clean said house comme il faut – I know I certainly appreciate that when I get to host).ย 

It really is magical when good friends make getting together a priority.

Last night’s theme was Thai – holy delicious food! (Wait, Lori – are Margheritas Thai? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I had the best of plans to make a Mango sweet sticky rice dessert but decided to nap yesterday afternoon instead so bought some mango ice cream, sliced up the mangos, and voila – dessert! (btw, PC Mango Ice Cream is quite delish)

I’ve been a part of the dinner club for 4 1/2 years. I became a part of it in a unique way that has convinced me that certain things are definitely meant to be. 5 years ago this coming September my friend Liane invited me to her house for dinner club. She said that sometimes a guest is invited to join them and I was excited because I had heard so many great things about it from her and few other friends who also did dinner club. 2 weeks later Liane fell down in her dining room and never got up. There was no question for me that I would continue with dinner club and every month I thank Liane for having invited me to dinner that September. I can’t imagine my life right now without it. Really.

I think I’ve gone a little off topic. C’est la vie.

Back to the lesson from baby Jack. He reminded me about the importance of structure. And how structure is not just about activity but about environment as well.

For the past week or so Jack and I have started a mini-routine where he goes to bed at 8 or so until at least midnight before he wakes to eat. I figured he’d just do the same thing at Lori’s house. Wrong. He did manage to snooze for 45 minutes or so in Tara’s arms but basically, instead of settling down for 4 hours or so he wanted to eat every 30 minutes. But it was the ‘I don’t know what else to do with myself’ kind of eating that I’ve come to recognize in him when he is overstimulated or over tired. He was at a different house with a bunch of people, when usually it’s just me and him at our place.

So what’s the lesson? Remembering that when kids are used to a routine any differentiation from it can be disorienting for them. Important lesson when preparing for a substitute teacher or when dealing with any kind of change in the classroom, new classmates, new teacher, coming back or about to leave for a long break, etc…

Today Jack and I are going to spend some time helping out at the high school program where I used to work before changing schools. I love that place. It is filled with heart, hope, and perseverance. Sometimes I can’t believe that I chose to leave it but when I remind myself ofย  the travel time each day I remember why I did so.

Now that I am not working I find myself going a little stir crazy. Last week I went to the school for a visit and while I was there came up with the idea of volunteering once or twice a week. I asked the head teacher about it and she said that an extra adult body is always a good thing and that bringing Jack along was fine. So we are heading out there today for a few hours.

What better place for Jack to spend some time? He’ll listen to some kids read, maybe. Hopefully he’ll help to make someone feel good today ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Plans. I always have great plans. But are they truly great if I overplan and, by so doing, set myself up not to achieve what I had planned?

Hence the next lesson from a newborn – realistic, satisfying plans.

Jack forces me to look at my day as chunks of time – every 2-3 hours it’s D.E.A.N –> Drop Everything and Nurse. And somewhere within the non-nursing time I need to make sure that I have food (not chips and cookies but good protein and carbs) and water at the ready for when it is time to feed.

I want to do so much – vacuum (believe it or not), clean out that spare room which is getting overrun as the dumping ground, decorate his room, tidy, dust, laundry, get a haircut, play with the dogs, write, take a shower, paint,ย  make those cute baby shoes I saw on prudentbaby,com … you get the picture.

All of those things (and more) are in the back of my head all the time as priorities and I generally get very little done because I am just so overwhelmed by everything I want to get done.

I need to admit that this often happens in the classroom as well. I have so many great plans that don’t come to fruition because I plan to do too much at once. So instead of doing one thing great we do many things ok. Yuck. Or I beat myself up because I’m not achieving what I have planned.

It’s time to practice realistic planning aka planning with a purpose.

For today:

DIY recycled baby shoesTask: Make baby shoes

Purpose: I need to do something creative, with my hands.

Task: Open new bank account (easy, I have an appointment at 12)

Purpose: Need a bank account for Jack

Task: Finish putting together crib (easy, Keith is coming over to help after the bank appointment)

Purpose: To organize Jack’s room, to create less clutter in one space.

So that’s it. I plan to achieve 3 things today. The balance of the noise in my head can keep calm and carry on waiting for another day.