A rearview mirror moment.

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I am sitting here wondering if my zest for my work will ever return. I used to love my job as a teacher. I was so hungry for every little bit of information I could get, every skill I could gain and every new technique that could possibly help my students improve.

Reading the syllabus was what I read for relaxation. Books explaining how the mind learns and develops were my inspirational reading. My ‘pick-me-up’ was looking for creative teaching ideas and my hobby was crafting the best lessons I could.

Then a tiny little baby entered my life. Two unfocussed eyes of uncertain colour looked at me. Two little perfect lips formed a smile that was most likely a wind. Five tiny fingers clasped my index finger.

And all my passion for teaching disappeared. All creativity vanished.

I need it back because teaching is not a job that can be done if it is a chore. To be a teacher you need to have the heart of an artist.

Will the spark return? What could ignite it again? I miss loving it as much.

Are kids movies right for our toddlers’ tender minds?

There seems to be less and less music and movies that are truly created with the interests of young minds at heart. 

True, every new movie and children’s series is created for children. Each one is always carefully crafted to satisfy nagging toddlers, grip their attention and, arouse their powerful inner worlds. Some series are even sugar-coated with educational content, especially STEM-related concepts. 

Yet, I wonder if we as parents are soothed into longer self-care freedoms while our toddlers are happily watching stories that promote problem-solving and healthy social interactions? Are we clearing our consciences to indulge in peaceful, uninterrupted attention to domestic duties, while our toddlers are engrossed in stories that teach them coding? 

In a world where both parents often work, finding it increasingly difficult to provide for the ever-increasing needs of our families, by having taxing days at work, it is no wonder that we crave peace and order. So what better option than to let our children gain skills by playing games and watching kids’ stories!

Yet, I am concerned. The main reason is the pace of everything: It is usually quick and often accentuated by fast and loud music added to over-enthusiastic voices. The storylines of the movies tend to be complex, layered and, with every ounce of exciting violence extracted from the nemesis. 

I think that we need to be mindful that screen media is deeply arousing, sending incredible amounts of sensory stimuli input to the brain’s activating system. Should we not limit our pre-school children to slow-moving shows with gentler, more melodious soundtracks and simpler storylines?

So much to do. So little time!

This is a peek into the day of a three year old.

Even on icy winters-days when we have to stay inside, there is just no end to the entertainment!

Some shape fun with Brainy Blocks. It only happened because we used prestik to stick the shapes to the patterns.

Time to transfer acorns to a hat and then see how it would look on the floor.

Popcorn with icing is just the thing to eat after we collected the acorns all over again.

Ah wait! We forgot to collect this acorn! Let’s see if it will go through the ceiling if we use our homemade ball popper.

The acorn landed near the box containing the Thomas The Train set… let’s build it.

Colouring might be fun! … for 1 minute.

Hurray! We have a mask. Mom tells me that the pointy things are legs and beetle mouth parts, but I know for a fact that those are horns.

Aha! Now maybe I can find a real bug!

Gotcha oriental cockroach!

OC needs leaves to feel safe.

With Mr Cockroach safe in his new shelter I can play boing pong with a clear conscience.

Then I had to take my parents for a walk…

Thank goodness I brought some left over popcorn to snack on every 5 meters.

Then there is the mac n’ cheese that must be prepared.

Bridges that need to be built.

And after all is done we can practice air drums just to relax before bedtime.