Thursday, February 18, 2010

A table for one (small person)

When a large box from Lord Company arrived, I got understandably excited. So did the Baby Beast, but for a totally different reason: huge box in the house? That's just cool!

I rolled it through the house, with the baby trying to manhandle (babyhandle?) it away from me so he could slap it and chew on the corners, but I finally managed to get it opened and unwrapped a pound or so of plastic wrap and an interesting cloth/paper padding and found my absolutely gorgeous wood table and infant chair.

The Baby Beast was surprisingly enthusiastic about his new table and chair once I got them set up. For one thing, they were something new in the house (which is always a reason for celebration; we get a new pot holder and he wants to manipulate it for ten minutes and check all the angles on it); but I think the main draw to him was the fact that here was furniture that was baby-sized! He could stand up next to the table and look over it, and pat it, and drool on it... without being lifted up to it! He could pull his own chair out, and push it around the room, by himself!

This goes along with the Montessori belief that children need child-sized things that they can manipulate themselves. As adults, the world is sized for us. The tables, chairs - really, all the furniture - is sized for large people. To an infant, everything is giant sized and hard to manipulate. Everything feels awkward to them, and they are left feeling somewhat out of place.

High chairs are even more awkward for them, something they have no hope of getting into or out of. Providing furniture sized for them helps them feel less out of place.

Seeing the Baby Beast's obvious enthusiasm for his new table and chair convinced me that it was a wonderful idea.

It has also made baby-led weaning so much easier. Since he's no longer sitting so high up in the air, he isn't doing the typical baby experiments of tossing food off the side of his chair to see what happens. He's been getting into eating with gusto since we've started using his table and chair.

Of course, there is one obvious drawback to him being so close to the floor... he's that much closer to the clean-up crew when he decides he's done.

And he never has any shame about it, either.

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