Chop...chop. Chippity-Chop...cut off the bottoms and cut off the tops
what we have left we'll put in the pot.
(our chopping song on Soup day!)
Soup Day was not always the favorite around here, but it is slowly gaining popularity here as one of the favorite meals of the week! We've tweaked our recipe a few times and I'm thinking it's starting to taste like something to really be excited about:) The children have also joined in preparing the soup with more vigor as the weeks go by.
As the children arrive, I'm already at work chopping. They are invited to join in by the way of materials waiting for them at their seat...if they should chose to help, they may. If there is something else they wish to do, that is just as well. Eventually, they all join in, but with no formal instruction or "invitation".
Our Barley and Vegetable Soup Recipe:
(one of my first original recipes!)
-I don't really measure anything out, so bear with me...
-2 or 3 potatoes, chopped
-2 or 3 carrots, chopped
-3 cloves of garlic, chopped or pressed
-salt, pepper, parsley to taste
-1/2 cup of green peas
-1/2 cup or so of barley
-2 cups of vegetable stock
-1/3 cup of tomato paste or sauce
Saute vegetables, garlic, and spices until translucent and fragrant. (A good reminder that soup day is here!)
Add the remainder of the ingredients and stir on low heat.
Cook for about 45 minutes...serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese!
(I can not get over the sweetness of this photo. I just had to say!)
This photo was taken after W hit someone. I've had plenty of opportunities to think about and practice discipline during the past few weeks especially. W has been doing a fair amount of hitting and I observe that it is starting to make some of the other children feel uncomfortable and maybe even afraid....such as, when they see him coming, they sometimes duck...or flinch? Oh boy. While there will always be conflicts between playmates, I don't want this feeling to become part of our environment.
My tactic is this:
When W hits, I come over and "sportscast" "You just hit _______" I give the other child a hug or gently touch where they have been hit. Sometimes "boo boo" cream is applied to the area by W from our "boo boo basket", or an ice pack is brought over by W. I pick W up and bring him in the kitchen with me, closing a child gate behind me. The first time I did this, the children assumed he was in trouble. I explained that W needed something else to do at the time; he'd be back soon. "Our hands are gentle" is usually all I say...he is then guided to some kind of work I am doing in the kitchen. Like stirring the soup pot (supervised), adding spices....
...bringing the bread to the oven...
Or something else purposeful. After a few minutes, the gate is opened and he's back out playing. Usually, another problem does not ensue....but when it does, he's back in the kitchen with me after all is dealt with in the above manner. This way, he is given a task while the other children can focus on their work, whether it is playing or cleaning up..
I know that W needs my attention during the playschool day. Sometimes it is such a hard time for him. I try my best to make time for us to just sit and be together throughout the day....this is also important so he doesn't equate hitting with a result of "mama alone time". Hitting is an unwanted behavior, but I think it always stems from something....I've stated it before, and not everyone agrees, but I don't believe that a child truly and inwardly knows the difference between true right and wrong until later in childhood. They know how we as parents and caregivers react to a certain behavior; what we say, what we do, what we tell them...but to truly know inside yourself that something is wrong? A 2.5 year old is not there yet. W does not always look upset when he hits...sometimes it is to get someones attention, sometimes, I believe, he just doesn't have control of his arms and legs yet; they just flail all over. I try my hardest (and sometimes it is hard) to not show emotion, especially, anger or shock, when he hits. It's way easier for me when it is a child who is not my own flesh and blood....but then again, it's much easier to be a teacher than it is to be a parent.
Anyhow, we are having unseasonably warm weather here and the sunshine is doing everyone good:)
There is nothing quite like the smell of a head of sundrenched hair after a morning spent entirely outdoors.