|The glorious table
Child-sized furniture is, fortunately, becoming pretty ubiquitous nowadays, but it’s also very important to Montessori mamas like myself. I am embarrassed to say that, since we eat meals at the family table with Annabelle in her high chair
, I put off the purchase of her table until just a few weeks back. I talked and talked with the daddy about buying one, but we were constantly putting it on hold for one reason or another. I planned to buy one by her birthday, but her Grammy and Grampy (thanks, guys!) were kind enough to set her up with one so that I didn’t have to. I cannot describe how wonderful
it is to have! I can’t believe I waited so long.
When the table arrived, I started eating breakfast and lunch with Annabelle and serving her snacks there. The first thing I noticed was how much easier it was to get our food ready, because I can sit at her table while I do some of the preparation, which puts me at Annabelle’s eye level. Instead of busily doing things at the counter that she can’t see and wants desperately to be a part of, I can work where she can see me, and even be involved to some extent. Not only does this make my life easier, but it shows Annabelle that her food doesn’t just magically appear on a plate. As the months and years go on, Annabelle will be able to take more and more of a role in the preparation of our food, and working at her level, where she can come and go as she pleases instead of being restricted by her high chair, will make it all the more enjoyable for her.
|Taking a break from wiping the table to have
another sensory experience.
One of my biggest frustrations with our morning routine pre table was how stinkin’ hard it was to get Annabelle from breakfast to bath and then dressed, outside to play, then nursed, and down for a nap and still find a way to clean up the oats that inevitably ended up on the high chair, in every nook and cranny of the table, and on the floor before the ants that thrive so beautifully in our tropical climate, tried to help me out. Now that we’re eating breakfast at Annabelle’s table, I can actually involve her in the cleanup. We wipe off the table and chairs together and then sweep the floor before we move on to get ready for the rest of our day. The result is a more relaxed mama and a happier, more independent toddler who has a deeper sense of the rhythm of our day.
I have been using the bottom of Annabelle’s kitchen shelf
to keep items for setting up and cleaning the table and I had promised to share photos and details here. I’m still constantly changing that set-up, however, and have yet to settle on something I’m totally happy with, so I think I’ll save that for a separate post down the line.
Not only is Annabelle now more involved in our food preparation and cleanup routine, but she is more inclined to tell me when she wants to eat. Just this week, she has started walking over to the table and pulling out a chair to let me know she wants a snack. Now that solid foods constitute a bigger part of her diet, I’m thrilled that she’s able to communicate these needs to me, and that she is more able to get up and walk away when she’s full.
The table we chose is made by Lipper International. You can find it on amazon
and many other sites. It wasn’t too pricey, it shipped here, and it’s beautiful and sturdy, so we’re happy. My only disappointment is that it’s still a bit too big for Annabelle, so she needs a hand when she is getting in and out of her chair. I really would prefer that she be able to use her table completely independently, but she only needs another inch or so and she’ll be golden. If we have a next child, I think I’ll aim to have an infant-sized table for him or her by the time they’re sitting independently. The up side, however, is that this table will work great for Annabelle for many years to come, and can be used with a sibling in the future.
Do you have a child-sized table in your home? When did you introduce it, and how does it work for your child? Do you use it for all, or some of your meals, or for activities and projects? Feel free to share your knowledge and recommendations in the comments!