I’ll be honest—being a working Mom doesn’t have many perks during the first year. Aside from the guilt, there is a constant yearning to be with your baby. I spent much of my time watching Micah on the web camera from my desk with an achy heart. There are, however, some benefits that I can’t overlook. The classroom at Kids ‘R’ Kids is far more equipped with stimulating toys and games than my home. I loved getting Micah’s activity sheet each day and seeing all the cool things he experienced. Who knew there were so many different set-ups for tummy-time fun! I couldn’t deny that his days were filled with purposeful play.
Before he could sit, the teachers would help him imprint his hand or foot to make a variety of theme-related pictures such as a footprint flower or a handprint animal. It’s amazing how a talented and creative teacher can have so many ideas for little hands and feet! My favorite piece is the green frog which incorporates both a hand and foot print. Hubby and I love hanging his hand/foot art in chronological order in our hallway; it has proven to be a beautiful visual display of my little man’s growth.
As Micah grew and was able to sit up unassisted, the fun really began. That’s when he was introduced to daily projects in the art chair. The art chair is a high chair that is designated for art projects so the babies can make a mess without any worry. This is when Micah was given the opportunity to really explore art on his own. At six months old, I picked Micah up one night and was handed a piece of white construction paper with a photograph attached. His teacher explained to me how Micah was given an ice cube with a mixture of water and juice. They placed the paper and ice cube on the tray, and he was encouraged to explore the ice. As it began to melt, the ice left a trail of shiny water behind that glistened when it dried. That evening when hubby got home, I couldn’t wait to show him Micah’s first piece of self-directed art. We both loved the photograph that would forever capture his awe-struck face as he felt the ice begin to melt under his hand. We framed the piece and fought over who could bring it to work. We compromised and hung it in the hallway with his other art. Each night after Micah is asleep in his crib, we walk by his wall of masterpieces. It warms my heart that we have so many keepsakes to celebrate his development.
The decision to be a working mom was not one that was taken lightly. The long-term benefits greatly outweigh the initial growing pains; this is something I am constantly reminding myself of. So while I spend my days missing my baby, he is immersed in stimulating play, and I can’t find anything wrong with that!