After reading "The Absorbent Mind" and realizing that when Tyler feels and acts this way, he needs work (i.e. the Q-tip blog), has been so enlightening and helpful to us all. While Tyler became bored with the Q-tip activity quickly, filling glass containers with gems has become a huge favorite. This is not to say that we don't also provide quiet snuggles on the couch, reading and singing, but Ty is understanding that are other ways to become balanced. outside of us..
For a few days, we rolled out his rug and gave him this work when he was feeling overwhelmed, and he would gladly take to it, leaving it when he felt centered and happy. Now he is noticing his own emotions and realizing what he needs to do in order to feel better and he's actually requesting, if not begging, for the activity. As the gems are small and require supervision, it is on top of a bookshelf just out of his reach, but he has no problem letting us know his wishes. At times he will also pull his rug from behind the chair, or if it's still out (oops) he will catch our eye and sit on it with a hopeful look. It is amazing to me that at 17 mos old he is not only recognizing his own emotions, but knowing what to do in order to relieve himself of them. I know adults who can't do this!
I'm left thanking all of my lucky stars for Maria Montessori, as well as feeling happy for my child on his journey towards self-soothing and emotional regulation (something my sensitive sweetie has always struggled to manage on his own). I'm proud of you Tyler!