Isn’t it amazing how the addition of a second child more than doubles the work load?  Weren’t we taught that basic arithmetic principles were constant? They would never change? 1 + 1 will always be 2?

Well, the addition of Cole (and I’m sure all you mothers of more than one child could also insert one or more of your children’s names in place of Cole) has made me re-evaluate everything I held to be sure, constant, and absolute.

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Now look at this precious face. Who would ever accuse this little angel of anything but sweetness? Me!  Pick me!  I would!  No matter how much I love his sweet kisses and ornery little smile, this one is a firecracker!  He will light up the sky with joy and awe, and then swoop down without warning and singe the very hairs off your head.

I’ve heard experts say you need to anticipate your little one’s move.  You need to move things that would hurt them, secure things that would fall, and move items higher, so they are out of your child’s reach. If I adhere to this advice where Cole is concerned, I’d have to remove every item in my home, except maybe the rug, which could still pose a liability.  I caught him a little while ago pulling up the rug and ripping off pieces of the padding, trying to eat it.  When I caught him, he looked at me with his sweet face and said, “Bite that?” How do you stay ahead of something like that?  It’s impossible to anticipate his moves!

So, my days lately have been somewhat challenging.  Homeschooling has become a little more interesting this year.  Last year, Cole was only a few months old while we were homeschooling.  He had not yet grown his eight nano-second klepto arms, nor developed his uncanny ability to zoom around faster than paparazzi can snap their high-powered cameras. This year, he eats crayons, bites the wheels off of matchbox cars, climbs tables, swipes anything we are working on or building…he’s one little challenging booger. This is why our school room has become a web of baby gates. My husband says our house looks like Alcatraz, and he’s right.

Having said all this, imagine my surprises when I find myself with a less than hectic type day. Carson had finished school and was helping Daddy out in the garage. I had finished the laundry and Cole was calmly looking at a book. I felt a burst of excitement! Previously, I had pinned all kinds of wonderful toddler ideas from Pinterest, hoping to be Super Mom and execute these ideas with Cole, while Carson was doing independent work. Well, these dreams were a little far-fetched, but now? Now, I could pull it off, right? So, anyway, here’s one of the ideas I tried.

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All you have to do is use 2 paper towel tubes and tape them to your wall or cabinet. You can use little colored pompoms, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shaped noodles (like I found in the pantry 😊), or cotton balls, anything, really for your child to drop in the tubes.

imageCole, of course, had to explore the manipulatives, first. By explore, I mean he had to grab them and throw them!  After he got used to them, he did actually like trying to put them in the tubes.

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This is blurry, but you can see him trying😊. It’s nearly impossible to get a clear picture of him lately, he’s so fast. My other mother, Debbie Nantz, has started calling him “The Blur,” because of this.

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Here he is showing his “cheesy grin” (told you he’s rotten)! Now, I will confess that he did not sit for an hour and do this, but he did sit for a few minutes. Also, when I would sit down and play with him, he was more involved. And since I left it up a few days, he played with it on and off. He’s still a bit little for this type of play, but it’s a start. All in all I felt some success. He can do something, while sitting! Yay!

So, I’m rejoicing in these small victories. Wanting to focus on the good, when I can. Well, the moment has passed, he just got the outside door open and is running outside onto the deck. Why am I still typing? Because we have the trusty deck gates, that will hold him for at least a minute or two. Time is ticking, so, I’m off!

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