Weston’s idea of what makes home a haven: (We didn’t ask him, but pretty sure his answer would be):
A place where I have lots of places to crawl and interesting things to look at without getting any owies. Lots of access to the cat food bowl (:P )
Weston is currently very interested in the cat food bowl and water. Whenever I put him down on the floor, he makes a very fast beeline for my husband’s office where he can find these wonderful playthings. Ellianna did the same thing when she was his age. We put up a little cardboard gate to deter him.
We have to tell him “no” to the cat food and water of course, but as he rummages around and finds things he loves to play with, we can use this as information to help us identify fun, safe things he’ll find entertaining. Since he loves to play in the cat water, I can encourage him to play with the water as he’s taking his bath. I can put some water in a little bowl and let him splash in it. I can take him outside and let him watch Ellianna splash in a mud puddle (which he loves). I can dip his little chubby baby legs in the pool. Water is an integral part of our world, and it’s good for him to explore it within some safe boundaries.
For a babe, the most important physical element in our home is safety. The level of baby-proofing can depend on the baby. Ellianna didn’t really get into things or into cabinets, but Weston loves to explore. He is a hands-on kind of guy and the more he can touch and feel, taste, open, and pound on, the better.
Low surfaces are also important. Diaper changes nearly always happen on the floor. Recently, I rearranged our living room furniture so that Weston could have a clear area separate from Ellianna’s craft table, to crawl. In this phase of life, our home must serve the needs of our children and create a safe environment for them, even if the furniture is not arranged in the most decorative way.
We are also finding that Weston LOVES the outdoors. He full-on cries (and he is a very happy baby) if he sees someone go out to the backyard without him. He loves to feel the sunshine and a breeze, and to watch all the activity outside – cars, trucks, people, pets. When he was 5 months old, we were on vacation and my parents noticed this, so while the rest of us wandered through a museum, my parents took him outside to watch cars going by. He loved every minute.
So as the weather has cooled in our toasty Arizona climate, Weston and I have been going out for early morning walks. We both enjoy the fresh air and sunshine immensely, I’m getting exercise (Weston makes a great weight to strengthen my arms :)), we discover what’s going on in our neighborhood, and get to say “good morning” to many neighbors and their dogs.
Weston loves to look at books too. This book loving mama wants to encourage this as much as possible! We found a fun colorful book at Costco with pictures of trucks and tractors.
Beyond this, healthy foods, lots of love, kisses, songs and play (the fun part!) and nice quiet space for peaceful naps all make Weston’s home a haven. As a baby, he doesn’t require much, and I treasure these simple days.
What a joy our children are to our home and lives. I can think of no greater service a home can provide a loving, safe haven for little ones.