Friday, February 4, 2011

Mud, Chaos, Peace and Control- Part 1....

Its winter here in Maine. Its dark. Alot. Most of the time. In fact on days when the high is nice a warm, making it to 30, it only stays that way for about 1-2 hours before the sun is close to setting. At that point the wee boy wakes up from nap and - well- its dark out.

He's also- a bit disregulated right now. I've been searching and searching and trying and trying to find a 'reset' button for him. But I can tell by his sleep patterns- it isn't sticking.  So I pulled out the big guns....

I tried what other moms do. I tried to give him some new sensory input tasks. This one sounded good and easy.  It was a perfect day to try it. We had docs appointments so no nap time and I know how things would work at home with no nap and not a lot of sensory input from the day already. So we did it.

Although we never really reached the true MUD consistency because someone likes adding more and more and more water "Pweeze".

Things like this are always a bit of a control lesson for me. I go into them with some sort of expected outcome. 1- we will make mud. 2- he will enjoy it  3- he will play with it for hours and be relaxed.  Of course in my frame of mind #'s 2 & 3 are dependent on 1. My instinct to requests for more water was "no. that is enough for now." But- the Learning Mommy is in fact "learning" and fought it enough to be- whatever- give it to him. So "mud" can come in many consistencies.

He played with it for a few hours. He was quiet. His body was quiet. His voice even and soft. He was hypnotized. WOW! I thought.

As you can see. Clean Mud. Is a bit of a misnomer. It isn't just soap and water- there is a good chunk of paper pulp in there too. So here are a few disclaimers if you try this at home.

  • Cover the table with a dollar store vinyl or wipe-of-able table covering.
  • Having carpeted floors is not a great idea unless they are also covered by above.
  • You may likely need to hose down or throw your child in the tub after this activity.
  • This tub is not a good time to wash or otherwise get your childs head wet- especially if they have the type of hair that likes to grab things and hold onto it for a while.
  • Make sure you remove as much as humanly possible of all the 'clean mud' before washing any clothing it clings to (think- left 100 tissues in your pocket when washing your favorite fleece- not fun)
  • Don't drop the tub of mud on the carpeted floor.

to be continued....