Wednesday, March 21, 2012

On Kitchens and Babies

So with teething and winter colds and fevers, I've been thinking about survival strategies; how life works with a gaggle of kids.  Two little ideas, new to us, that I've been enjoying lately:
--We put a rocking chair in the kitchen!  No, we don't have a big kitchen.  I do have to move the rocking chair constantly to get to the pantry, but this has been worth it.  When the baby's crying, but I can't stand to miss dinnertime, when Paul's finally home after a long day of work for all of us, I can nurse or rock the baby, and enjoy the happy company of the family at the same time.

Pretty and Happy: so content I drew a picture!
--Put the baby in the sink.  Baby has to be old enough to sit up quite competently, Mama has to be attending closely, and won't be able to do this at all once baby starts trying to climb the dish rack!
When I came up with this,  I was too tired to pop him on my back, and he was too crabby with teething and congestion to do anything else at all.  The situation with dirty dishes was becoming catastrophic.  I gave up one basin, filled the dish tub with warm water, and had a happy companion.  I gave him choice utensils and a wet rag to suck on. Once I discovered this, we started doing it all the time!

--An old idea, for us: put the baby on a back.  This is my number one coping mechanism for caring a baby while homeschooling.  So, first I take care of baby dear: nurse, feed, potty, clothe, warm.  Then baby plays. (and we can do other things!) On the floor, on a blanket, dancing to some fun music, with the cat door, a shoe, whatever he seems interested in.  When baby dearest has had it with playing, he's usually happiest if I put him on my back.

I've really mastered the technique of getting him up there, and I confidently assert that he's really secure.  (psst-- I'll bike with a kid on my back like this!)  He may complain a bit at first, but often just snuggles right in.  It's nice if I can do something that involves a little motion, to lull him a bit.  Once he's happy, I can sit down and do bookwork with the boys!
Funny and Real