Friday, March 16, 2012

Bad Days Can Make For A Good Lesson...

I learned today, the importance of following my child's lead.
This is SO important, I know that. But I really got to see first hand this afternoon just how much it means to Gauge to have his voice heard.

 He gave me more than a few cues that he was not all that interested in this activity, but I didn't listen. I am more than a little ashamed about today, but I want to share this as a reminder that, especially at this age, the finished product is never important. A preschooler's only job is to play, play, play! Trust me, they ARE learning! And if you're a mom, which you probably are if you're reading this,
e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g your kiddo makes is frame-worthy anyway! :)

We have all seen the super cute melted crayon pictures all over Pinterest lately, right? I know I have been ogling them for weeks! Well, I finally convinced Bubs to let go of some of his 100,000,000 crayons! (this was the first cue he gave me that he did not want to do this activity. When I say 'convince', what I mean is that he really did not want me to use them)
Once we came to an agreement about which crayons were off limits we talked and talked about what we were going to do with the ones we would be using for this project, and finally decided on a card for Great Nana (who's birthday is on St. Patrick's Day.)

He chose his colors, and let me have a few of my own. (This was the second cue he gave that he did not want to do this activity. He nudged the crayon box over to me and said he was sharing because he's a big boy, then went back to his pile. Normally he is clambering into my lap to do his activities so that I can play along easier)
 I had planned to let him explore the wax+blow dryer idea a bit with the colors of his choosing, and then have him make a second work of art in themed (rainbow) colors if he was into it.. (this is how I justified it to myself, anyway. I KNEW this wasn't really his thing from the beginning.)

It took some coaxing to get him to rip the paper off of his crayons, but he was happy to help glue them down!

The next morning I was so excited I could barely contain myself! Gauge didn't even ask about the activity until after lunch, when he saw me prepping the kitchen. (Third cue, right here. I am lucky to get food in his belly before he is climbing onto the counters to get the messy kitchen activities, or trying to figure a way over the gate to get up to the preschool play room) 

Once I had the paper down over the table and walls I took a minute to show him how the blow dryer melted the wax, letting the crayons get a little mushy so he didn't get bored waiting for the colors to run. He wasn't as eager as he usually is to jump in and take over, but I thought it was just the noise that was making him feel reluctant. He took a minute to smoosh the wet wax around with a fork, but the minute I stepped back to take a picture... BAM! Gauge and the dryer hit the floor! He was MAD, the dryer was LOUD, and "HE DOES NOT WANT TO DO THIS! THIS ISN'T WHAT HE WANTS!!!" (Can I call that a cue???)

The poor kiddo cried for a good 5 minutes before he would even talk to me. He felt terrible. I felt terrible, and now there was a huge mess that made us both feel even worse.

Finally, he calmed down and was able to communicate that he does not want to try this again, and he would like to throw his picture in the garbage. I was happy to oblige, as I was sure neither of us would have fond memories when looking at it.

This picture isn't actually of him using the blow dryer. Before he asked to throw his project away he wanted to try to scrape the crayon off of the paper with the dryer and the fork. You can see how red his face is from being upset. :(

I feel absollutely terrible about today's events, and I made a point to have a long talk with Gauge. I appologized and asked him if he enjoyed school. His response was that he likes his school room, and toys, and papers, but he does not like this.
HELLO!! Everything we do for "school" play is centered around his (and his brother's) interests. course he likes it, and this is how it should be. I (Josh and I) am not choosing to homeschool for myself. This is GAUGE and VASH'S school, their life, and they SHOULD love it!


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