Friday, September 18, 2009

September 18, 2009 - Some Kids Need a Fishbowl

When I was in graduate school I once had an instructor who advised me and my classmates that, "some kids need a fishbowl." She made this crazy statement in reference to the fact that all kids are different, they don't all learn the same way, what works for some doesn't work for others, and you have to keep trying to figure out how to reach a student until you succeed. Otherwise called "differentiated instruction", she told us the story of a student she taught in Alaska who she had a really hard time reaching until she discovered somehow that if he looked at her (and the world) through a fishbowl, he could focus and learn and do well. Hence the phrase, "some kids need a fish bowl." (Joanna, this one's for you.)

This brings me to my story about Wednesday afternoon. Perhaps because of her teething, Grace is very clingy these days and wants me to hold her all the time. She is doing great sleeping at night (a 6-7 hour stretch followed by a 2 or 3 hour stretch and then another 2 hour stretch) but is not napping well during the day, and all of this makes it hard to get anything done. So on Wednesday afternoon I was particularly frustrated because she was particularly fussy; I was trying all kinds of different things to get her to calm down and play by herself near me but without me holding her. Even the Baby Bjorn wasn't working, which you know is a bad sign because she loves the Bjorn! I tried chairs and seats and pillows and cushions and a variety of combinations of toys and songs and dances...all to no avail.

Then I spotted the empty laundry basket - really a bucket - and remembered that Kristoffer put her in there one time as a joke and she really liked it. I brought the bucket into the kitchen, plopped her into it with some tupperware to play with, and low and behold it worked. For 20 minutes she was very happy and I was able to start cooking dinner. Kristoffer came home at the exact moment she started to fuss again and, as usual, she was thrilled to see her father and laughed with/at him for the next 20 minutes.

In the same way that "some kids need a fishbowl" I guess "some babies need a bucket."


Yesterday Kristoffer took the day off from work because it was Christian's last day in Kenya. We went to one of our favorite places for lunch - it felt like a Saturday for sure! We put Grace in her stroller sitting up like a big girl (usually she is still in her car seat) and chomping on a baby biscuit for the first time (it was great for her teething!).


Last night Christian went back to Denmark after a great almost-month here. He went to the Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru, Mombasa, and most impressively he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Congratulations, Christian! We are so proud of you and had a wonderful visit while you were here! I hope you don't mind that I will now show off some of your amazing pictures from the top of the world:




LMW

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