Saturday, May 3, 2008

What Tomato Staking Looks Like

Daniel is my little tomato. He stays with me because he's too impulsive to be trusted without me nearby. He's not a bad kid. In fact, he's a very sweet, very laid-back boy who wants to please me. But he's also VERY impulsive. He acts without thinking most of the time.We've just finished breakfast, and I've read a chapter of The Child's Story Bible. Now I'm reading a few James Whitcomb Riley poems while the big kids draw and the littles play quietly.
Daniel's playing with one of his beloved toy cars and Lydia is coloring. She always needs assistance with this for some reason. (She's really just watching Chloe color, but they're both happy so, whatever.)
Up until now, Daniel has been by my side simply because that's his place at the table. Now the actual tomato staking will take place:
After the reading, Isaac and Chloe work on handwriting. (Maya and Elena write so many stories and letters on their own, they don't really need dedicated writing time.) Daniel's still in his high chair; now he's playing with Kid K'nex.
It's now almost 9:00 and we're starting phonics rotations. Daniel is now playing with Legos at my feet, but the rest of the kids are playing upstairs while Chloe reads to me. Chloe's reading Dick & Jane. (See how she's scrunching up her face? She reads in these funny voices. It's very strange, but very funny.) After she finishes, she'll go upstairs to play and send someone else down to read to me.
Now Chloe and Maya are upstairs playing with Liddy and I have Elena coach Isaac through his phonics lesson, while Daniel & I unload the dishwasher. He stays right with me, regardless of what I'm doing, see? He doesn't get into trouble this way. I want him to develop a habit of obedience. One of the key ways I do that is by preventing disobedience.
After we finish our school (no I didn't show you all of it, so sue me), the big kids will do their chores while Daniel helps me with mine. Then he'll help me with dinner preparation by dumping the ingredients in the crock-pot. Of course, he has to take turns with Lydia, who loves crock-potting almost as much as I do.
You get the idea. Tomato staking has been great for him and great for my relationship with him.


Naomi O'Donovan said...

Thanks for the ideas! I'm trying to do this, but since all four of mine are under 4 1/2, I feel like I need to stake them all! How many godly tomatos can one theoretically have on the same stake at once? *lol*

Ginger said...

Definitely all of them, Naomi! All of mine are loosely tomato-staked, but Daniel's needs me to be more strict with it. When Pedro is home and I need to run an errand, I still take Daniel with me.

The Herd said...

Thanks for sharing...John and I talked about this post and the one before it. We are so guilty of being selfish and we are praying that we will be loving our children more and more. Thanks for sharing your fam with us! We are learning from you guys!