Although this picture alone shouts Montessori (total concentration, with nothing but a natural object, in nature no less!) it’s actually the moment just following that inspired this random post. This pic was an easy one. Keeping a child engaged on the beach to me is about the easiest thing in the world. Which is why it is one of my favorite places to take Coralie. For me it just doesn’t get any more child friendly – endless spaces to run, explore, dig, splash (hense the costume change in the following pictures). And since she eventually came to the conclusion that sand is not a pleasant eating experience (something she surely had to learn for herself, as my input meant nothing) it became my own little nirvana. A place to thumb through magazines and even chat with friends.
However, it is fair to say that this particular moment on the beach was not entirely a perfect one. C hadn’t napped, it was getting late in the day, and I could tell we were both starting to feel a bit over it. I was personally feeling slightly anxious with our following plans of meeting with one of Yann’s childhood friends for an early evening drink at a nearby cafe. Yes, that may sound a bit melodramatic, but when I’m tired and she’s tired, it can add up to crazy all around. And I do feel more than a bit self conscious regarding toddler behaviour here in France. Really, I get it, I’ve read ‘Bringing up Bebe’, and just about everything else regarding French child rearing, and I mostly I agree with it all. But sometimes, I just long to be in the States, where people could not possibly care less if my two-year old throws a disruptive fit in a social setting, she is almost expected to do so.
So it was with a bit of luck that I handed her a baby wipe at the table after she finished her supper and I could tell she was beginning to get antsy. Voila, twenty minutes or so uninterrupted concentration. She cleaned the table, got down cleaned the chair, moved to the tree which was especially interesting to wipe as the bark came off with each stroke, and eventually made her way to the railings around the deck.
And concentrating she was, as I somehow managed to take a few pictures before she noticed (something that never happens with the little ham!). Instead of her normal request to come behind and watch the viewing screen, she instead said sweetly, “Oh Mama, I need to clean your camera!”