Is there much that is more beautiful than the work of small hands? The care and attention they give to mastering a task; the intensity in which they work; and the focus they have towards carrying out each step?
I mentioned earlier that more than toys, Sarah loves meaningful activity; pouring water, watering her garden, putting on her shoes, combing her hair, Practical Life activities. This constant repetition of motion, constant practice towards mastery, seems innately driven.
‘Exercises of Practical Life, those daily performed activities which the adult carries out…[T]he very young child shows a strong urge to associate himself with these activities. He tries to take part spontaneously. He offers his help.’
~ M. Waltuch, Montessori Talks to Parents: The Home Environment
So when Sarah saw me squeezing lemons, she straight away offered to help. With her hand out, and her finger pointing, she said, ‘Lemon, in there.’ Which in Sarah speak means, Mummy, can I squeeze the lemon, too?
When Spring rolls around I like to make lemon water. I don’t really like the taste of plain water, but a touch of lemon makes it so refreshing. Sarah likes to help me make it. If I squeeze the lemon a little bit before cutting it, to soften it, Sarah is able to get the juice out.
It takes practice, but all things do. She is able to use her other hand to hold the juicer steady now (at first I would hold the juicer and she would press the lemon down with both hands). She still needs a little help sometimes pouring the juice into the jug though. Often she will misjudge and miss the bowl.
And when there are spills, and there are always spills. Sarah is more than happy to give the bench a quick wipe.
Now to add a few ice cubes and head outside to enjoy the sunshine.