PABLO’S PLAYDATE: OF ROUTINES AND MOVEMENT

Many fellow moms message me on Instagram for our routine at home. The truth is, we really don’t have schedules! We learned from observation early on that routines don’t really work for us as much as I thought, and I’ve learned to just follow my son’s lead instead.

Some days, we stay home the whole day, and some days, we make spur-of-the-moment decisions, like this one.

Here’s a peek of what a day is like with me and my 19-month-old.

***

A few days ago, my sister sent me a text in the morning asking if I could help her out — she was rearranging her home for my godson’s homeschooling journey.

A few hours later, her driver picked us up and off we went to her home.

When we go out, the only things I MUST HAVE in my bag are: wallet, phone with charger, at least (1) set of clothes for changing, wipes, and diapers. I can live without the rest, but these are what we need on a daily basis for Pablo’s age.

Pampers comes with this small packaging – 4 diapers in a small bag — the exact number I usually have in my day bag!

When we arrived, all the stuff were out, because as mentioned, my sister was rearranging for her homeschool setup. Still, Pablo knew exactly where he wanted to go: to that large Fire Engine. So that’s where he hung out with his cousin.

After playing together and facing challenges on sharing and taking turns, Pablo and his cousin found the best setup for them: Pablo playing with the dump truck and the fire engine, while his cousin poured “snow” on Pablo’s head. Eventually, Pablo wanted to play with the styrofoam (which came from the new shelves of my sister), too.

After a while, he left the vehicles and moved on to a tub of duplos and legos. I snapped the photo right when he was trying to get a piece from the tub. He didn’t want to just stand up and bend down for the piece — he preferred to go on top of the box and balance while trying to get the piece, and that was alright. It was his choice, so I just let him.

After more play, I went to check his diaper. It was, as suspected, already full of pee (we never had leaking issues with Pampers, so I just make sure to physically check if he needs to change already). We did a quick change, and he chose to change lying down (we also change standing up) because he wanted to borrow my camera.

His clothes were still okay, so I didn’t change them. He went on to play with the vehicles some more, explore the duplos and legos, play with his cousin’s planes, and played with his cousin’s basketball.

We had late lunch, and after that they played again.

I was sitting on my sister’s couch, reading, and when I checked on him again, he had already walked to the kitchen. He saw the orange stool, pushed it from the fridge to the sink.

I went to him just to make sure he was safe. It turned out he wanted to “wash”. So he got all the clean utensils on the drying rack and washed them. He reached for the sponge and started squeezing. This went on for a while. He found a soup ladle, put it under running water, and then threw the water on the floor. Instant transfer work. But this was not the place for it. I got a rag and modeled cleaning up.

After a while, he was already wet all over. I knew it already called for a change of clothes. So we did. I put on a new shirt, but did not wear a new pair of shorts anymore. I wanted to save it in case he needed it for outside. He went back to the kitchen and climbed the learning tower on his own. He tried to cut cheese using the butter knife that was already there, but eventually just ate the whole cheese using his hand.

Then he went down and up again.

This time, he wanted to peel the sticker on the bottle. So he did. When he was done, I put the sticker back.

After his kitchen exploration, he explored the stairs and went down the first floor. “Fip (Philip) shoes. Mama shoes. Pabo (Pablo) shoes. Ninang shoes.”, he would categorize each pair.

Finally, we arrived downstairs — and then he went on to explore the storage room! His eyes were set on his cousin’s scooter. He dragged it across the room.

Eventually, we went up and he found himself playing with his cousin again. It was already nighttime, and we did not expect to still be out by dinner. My husband was supposed to pick us up earlier from a meeting, but they did not end early, so we ordered dinner for all of us at my sister’s home.

After dinner, he started washing at the sink again, which means…wet clothes! Good thing the other shirt was already mostly dry, but I was reserving it for our car ride going home (where aircon would be on full blast) — so he was just on his diapers until we went home. In between lunch and dinner, we had (3) diaper changes. 4 pieces in a day bag is my safe calculation, but if we go outdoors, I make sure I have more in the car just in case.

And here he is, before we left — we just saw him going around with the broom.

It was a full day of playing and exploration — his energy was so spent that he easily fell asleep that night.

Spending a day with a 19-month-old can be tiring for sure. At this point, toddlers want to do nothing but move — move their hands, move their feet, move their bodies. They want to touch, explore, experiment, and repeat! But trying to stop them from what their body is instinctively telling them to do is even a lot more frustrating, so for me, it really is important to just go with the flow, observe, and provide an environment where they can move and explore. Even more importantly, movement is really important for brain development, so movement is not only a want for them, but a necessity!

Since my sister’s house was up for rearranging, it wasn’t the most prepared environment for the day – but still, he had lots of opportunities to touch and things to observe, which really satisfied his current needs.

Aside from a prepared environment, it is also important to have clothes that are friendly for movement: comfortable clothes that would not hinder moving (I have seen how a pair of pants with the wrong fit really hindered Pablo’s movement – I’ll reserve this story for next time), and underwear with a good fit. Since we are still using diapers when we go out, we only use Pampers — its thinness not only saves me a lot of space in my bag, but I love how it’s lightweight for my son – he could move with ease in it! Moreover, its magic gel channels really distribute the weight of the liquid evenly on the diaper, which means we don’t have to deal with lawlaw/ saggy issues. You may check out my review on Pampers Baby Dry HERE.

So, that’s what a day usually looks like for us – full of freedom of movement and clothes (including diapers) that support it. Would love to hear what a day’s like for you.

“All movement thus has a most intricate and delicate machinery. But in man, none of it is established at birth. It has to be formed and perfected by the child’s activity in the world. Unlike the animals, man finds himself so richly endowed with muscles that there are hardly movements he cannot learn to make.

The wonderful thing is that man’s movements are not fixed and limited like those of the animals, but he can decide upon and choose those he will learn. But such versatility depends on work. They cost him the effort of much repetition, of “practicing”, and in the course of this, the muscles come to act in unison.

In reality, no one ever acquires all the muscular powers of which they are capable. Man is like a person born to enormous wealth, so rich that he can only use a part of his inheritance, but he can choose which part he will use at his pleasure. A man may become a gymnast by profession, but it does not follow that he was born with muscles of any special kind.

Everyone, whatever he may want to do, has such a wide range of muscular powers that he can choose and set himself a course. His mind can propose and direct his development. Nothing is preordained, but everything is possible. It is only necessary for his will to collaborate.”

-Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind

* This blogpost is published in partnership with Pampers Philippines. All content and views are exclusively mine.
** Quote on Maria Montessori may be found on Chapter 13: The Importance of Movement, The Absorbent Mind

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