Feelings

I am so pleased to see Amy starting to name her feelings.

A few times in the last few days she has said “sad!” when she’s been frustrated, like when she pushed her stroller into a place she couldn’t get it out of again, or when we decided not to give her the apple she asked for (because she has some fresh rash and fruit can aggravate it), or when she does something she’s not supposed to and is told to stop.

Sad and frustrated aren’t exactly the same, but feelings do tend to blend and co-occur. Being frustrated makes me sad more often than not, too.

She knows “happy” too, but let’s face it, we rarely feel the need to comment about it when we’re in a good mood.

I try to do good mirroring for her — try to interpret her cues and suggest what she might be feeling (“that makes you angry, doesn’t it?”), staying calm, making it safe for her to have and express feelings, helping her understand appropriate and inappropriate ways of expressing them.

And of course y’all know that I try to talk to Amy about my feelings. Sometimes she mirrors back, and guesses “sad?” when I sigh or something.

She has some books that mention feelings — The Giving Tree uses the word “happy” a lot, and My Many Colored Days describes feelings through colors, and at the library she’s read one of the Pigeon books that has some feelings in it.

Good for her — may she continue to develop emotional awareness for herself and for others, and develop skills for managing emotions in herself and reactions to others’ emotions.

Toddler table

Amy seems to like playing at a table — she likes to put things on shelves or chairs or the couch, or mama’s lap. I keep thinking of the little tables the Montessori schools have, just high enough to sit on the floor and have your activity at a reasonable height, or others with matching toddler chairs. Another thing is that they contain the activity, to an extent — helps focus, keep things together, and of course provides a firm level surface for tricky things like blocks.

We took a look at the secondhand stores in the area and found nothing. Wal-mart didn’t have anything I liked. I put in a “wanted” post at our local Freecycle group, but meanwhile this little improvisation works:

Photo -- Toddler table.

The shelf is a board left in our upstate NY house, I believe. I had covered it with fabric and used it with CD boxes (the kind my CDs come in, 30 at a time) to make some shelves in the music room there. When we moved here, it continued as a bookshelf in the music / craft room.

Now its books sit on the floor in tidy piles.

And Amy and I can sit on either side of this table with our legs stretched comfortably under it while we read, play with blocks, play the xylophone, etc.

The downside is that the “legs” aren’t attached, so it’s susceptible to being kicked or otherwise shifted apart, but that’s okay for now.

(Oh, and that’s my block creation… Amy looked at it a few times before knocking it down.)