18-21 months, Uncategorized

Blossoming independence

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Spring is a time of awakening — both outside and inside of our home.

With a long and especially harsh winter behind us, we’ve been happily casting off the trappings of winter and embracing the blooms of spring.

No longer stuffed into snowsuits with full-body zippers and snaps and Velcro at every potential source of wind, Jasper is free to experiment with putting his light jacket on and off, and zipping up and down. We’re into prime rubber boot weather here, and they make the perfect introduction to independent shoe-wearing. J can find his boots, put them on, take them off, and return them to their home all on his own. He’s taken to exploring all other forms of footwear we have around and is now an avid Velcro-ripper.

Towards the end of winter, Jasper had begun to make his first forays into the backyard alone. We have a medium-sized fenced yard in a small town, and a sliding glass door from the house which allows for some occasional surreptitious supervision. It’s a great opportunity for us both to develop some independence! With the ice and deep snow gone from the yard, he’s more confident than ever, journeying to the furthest corners of the fences and climbing the ladder to the slide. Following the child these days often means 7 AM visits to the bird feeder. When I go out to the yard to work in the garden, he comes with me, and we’ll each do our work-play separately, but together. And, occasionally we’ll join each other for a little while.

Jasper reached 18 months back in March, and I feel now that I have a first-hand understanding why so many Montessori toddler programs begin at 18 months. It’s like a switch has been flipped, and he’s entered a whole new realm of illumination. Or maybe I should say we have, because as he grows, so do I.

Have you noticed certain seasons or ages or phases when your child suddenly seemed to developmentally leap forward? I’m curious to know what I should look out for in the future.

P.S. While writing this post, the doorbell rang and a package from Montessori Services was delivered, so you may expect some fresh indoor practical life content coming soon!

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6 thoughts on “Blossoming independence

  1. True to the chart in “The Absorbent Mind” we saw a change in Quentin around 18 months, or should I say, looking back we realized there had been a change. With his second birthday only just past, we have seen another intense change. What we thought was his independence before was nothing compared to the fierce drive to do everything himself now. What we thought was a broad vocabulary, has exploded in every aspect of speech. I often stop and wonder what our life would look like if it were not based on the Montessori mantra “Follow The Child”.
    Montessori Services is one of my favourites!! Lucky Jasper!

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    • Oh, thanks for the reminder, Beth. I haven’t checked out the chart lately, and if I had, I might have seen this coming.
      One of the best things I’ve experienced from MM’s chart so far is the period of maximum effort. Having a framework for that type of activity is so useful, and it always makes me giggle to see a tiny lugging some heavy thing around.
      This was my first Montessori Services order, and I’m very happy with the results. The shipping was pretty hefty though — like, half the cost (it is across the continent after all), and I wondered about having future stuff shipped to my in-laws place in Parksville. I don’t know if USPS works the same way that my mind does: “It’s just up the coast!” Any thoughts from a fellow Islander?

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  2. Sapling House says:

    Yes, 18 months! Although we have seen some regression in aspects of food and eating (she likes to be fed and is very fussy,) Ginger’s language and drive to learn is insatiable! I’m finding it hard to keep up with her busy mind! We’re just entering Autumn so am looking forward to exploring more of the cognitive activities rather than active ones this winter. Jasper is one of my favourite names 🙂

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    • Hey Renee, thanks so much for commenting. I’m sorry I haven’t replied to your last comment — I read it and then got lost in your beautiful blog-world for a while and completely forgot about mine.

      I like your observation about cognitive vs. active activities and their relationship to the seasons — we are absolutely doing some gross motor work around here, and loving it after such a long winter! That said, autumn is my favourite season and I find myself just a little bit jealous of you folks in the southern hemisphere. Enjoy the deepening colours and that golden light!

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      • Sapling House says:

        Autumn is beautiful, yes! Such a lovely time of year – but spring is not far behind! Enjoy the beautiful blooming of the world 🙂

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  3. Pingback: Nurturing Independence (+ $500 Amazon Give-away) |

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