Wednesday, March 01, 2006

kids

tristan is all grown up. he helps how ever he can, he'll play and entertain his sister for hours. he watches her and generally keeps her out of trouble. he can actually grab her and carry her to safety. we nurture his protective big brother side. i fully expect that kassi and tristan will be all but completely autonomous for large portions of their days by the time the new baby comes. this'll be extremely helpful to tabitha having her hands full with the latest omelay.

our friend anna blogged about structured time for kids and the need for unstructured time. i wholly agree, and will take that a step further. i believe that structure is for the adults. it helps them get predictable results on behavior and gives both parties a baseline for productive interaction. having said that and realizing the benefits, we have almost no structured time. we have breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner together and the most structured time we have is movie night and when we pray before meals. there is routine around here, feeding the chickens, the cow, and checking for eggs. this routine is a kind of structure but mostly it's for the animals and in hopes that we don't forget anything. we as parents are predictable and try to offer a consistent position which is a kind of structure. tabitha has read many books on parenting and different methods, i've read a few, but mostly we do what feels right. for us that means our kids have the run of the place, they are by most standards un-ruley. but they are sweet, considerate and generally consider themselves as our peers. not that they question the modicum of authority that we enforce (too much) but they demand respect as much as any other person. this sorta happened this way. maybe this'll bite us in the butt in the future but this is how the experiment is progressing to date.

mike turned our garden yesterday for the final time. kassi and i picked up rocks and roots out of the garden. she is amazingly helpful. i'd point out rocks and she'd say "tanx daddy" and pick it up and put it in the bucket. she twice half filled a five gallon bucket of rocks. i dumped the buckets, picked up the really large ones, took them to the rock ring, and pulled roots. we worked until dark. in the interim I cooked chicken on the grill YUM. it was so tasty--we haven't grilled in a while.

friday I will rent a roto-tiller, the new for-trade-one is a few weeks away. we'll macerate the soil to a fine homogeneous layer. I plan to add cedar shavings, the composted and more fresh cow manure and the leca that ben gave me over the weekend.

3 comments:

Deb said...

Amen to the importance of unstructured time. I believe kids need time to just be kids, to explore and experience and play, in order to fully develop as individuals.

pablo said...

You put fresh cow manure in your garden? I'd always heard that it "burns" the plants and leaches away nutrients as it goes through its own decomposition. But I have no practical experience in the matter.

As our kids grew older, they tended to want to have some structure/routine in their days. I guess the began to see how complex the world was and wanted something reliable to fall back on.

karl said...

deb,
thanks it is good to hear a little nod now and then.
pablo,
i'm not sure what to say about the manure except my grandfather took the manure straight from the barn to the fields in his flinging manure spreader. yes, i have read about composted manure and if we had our cow sooner we'd have that luxury. in fact we do have a huge batch of composted manure ready to be added but we also will add the manure straight from the field too. the volume isn't enough to do any real damage or good for that matter but it is organic matter and will loosen the soil regardless. cow manure is considered more benign then pig or chicken which will easily damage plants if applied in this fashion.

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