Sunday, March 27, 2011

you know how kids on airplanes kick their feet into the seat in front of them?

Leighton went to a Montessori workshop a couple of weeks ago where a presenter talked about the importance for children of having size appropriate furniture, such as chairs that allow their feet to reach the ground. To achieve this, the presenter recommended the child eating by a separate lower table next to the adults' dining table. I'm not crazy about that idea. Maybe if we had more than one child. For now I like to have Lilly "with" us at the table when we have dinner.

Feet grounded
However, this presenter's emphasis on children's need to have their feet reach the floor to feel grounded has caused some conversation around here. Might it explain her (very annoying) pushing of her feet into my driver's seat? Or her kicking at the table during meals? And the coffee table when we're on the couch, crunching the rug into an accordion? Or does she do that because she wants to have her feet on the table like I do?

But how about in bed? While she will sleep calmly and snuggly next to me, she has this thing of pushing her legs into my body when she wakes up in the morning. If we don't get up right away, that is.

Like yesterday morning. So it's Saturday and I'm down with a cold and I don't feel like getting up when she wakes up before 7. So I lie there, feigning sleep. As she squirmingly and relentlessly persists in kicking my body. What's up with that? While she has the decency not to "wake" me by speaking until I actually turn around and open my eyes, she just kept on like that for the entire hour and a half it took me to feel like I could "start" the day.

Of course, by then I was so frustrated that I poured all that crap out on Leighton. And I remain wondering, what's the deal with the kicking?


  1. Augie does the same thing! He nestles his feet under my back or belly when we're sleeping. It drives me nuts!

  2. I should almost do a poll to see how much of a thing this is.

  3. Kid-sized chairs seem like a nice idea, but my son rarely uses his. His grandfather made it for him, it's super comfy, has his name on it, and he loves it and is proud of it. But he rarely sits in it.

    At school it makes sense to have kid-sized chairs since you have kids there day after day year after year. But in the home I think it's an expense most families could easily do without. Unless you have an enormous house worth of space to fill and a lot of money burning holes in your pockets.

    I saw a study in some child development book describing a study where kids were let loose in a room full of toys for some number of minutes. The study just tracked where the kids went. The younger the kids, the more different toys they touched. They walked all over the room seemingly at random, picking things up and then putting them back down and moving on to the next thing. As the kids got older and older they made fewer moves around the room, tending to play longer with the items they did touch. Until finally by age 6 or 7 or so (if I remember right), the vast majority walked directly over to the nearest table, found one toy and played with it for the whole time.

    I think that study says a lot about the fidgety/kicky/not-gonna-sit still phase of childhood. When she's 7, Lilly will probably sit still for ages reading or drawing or whatever she likes to do. But I think it's quite normal for young kids to be so wiggly.

    When my son was younger we fixed the fidgetiness at the table by letting him stand on a footstool while he ate. He loved it. It put him at the right height but gave him control of how he wiggled. Also, he couldn't kick that way. Once he could sit still to eat he chose to switch to a chair. We have a no kicking at the table rule, though. He is excused from the table if he kicks.

    Sometimes he just needs to get some energy out, do a little running or dancing. Wheelbarrowing (where we hold his feet and he walks on his hands pretending to be a wheelbarrow) is good for physically tiring him out some. He's much better able to sit still when he's had some outdoor/running/dancing/physical time.

    He's not allowed to kick the driver's seat in the car. We give him a couple warnings and would just pull the car over if he didn't stop.

    He is definitely not allowed to push his feet into me in my bed. Not that he's allowed in my bed normally anyway, but if we're in there cuddling or snoozing, he knows any kind of physical pestering of Mama gets him kicked out right away. I won't tolerate pestering in my own bed. He can go lie elsewhere or go play if he's gonna pester.


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