Category Archives: Reflecting

Advent Reflections: Week 3

So I’ve been thinking a lot about the direction I want to take this blog. I haven’t blogged a lot this year and I really want to be doing more here. It’s very interesting for me to go back and look at what I’ve written over the years and how it documents my thinking, what I’ve learned, and what I’ve done with Cam and I don’t want to lose that.

We are also going to be starting unschooling this year- which is a funny thing to say because you don’t really start unschooling. My hope, really, is to be more intentional in setting up provocations and activities for Cam and making sure I see how she responds to them and just generally being more in tune and more present in that aspect of her learning. 

Between my feeling lost at the end of this year, starting back at work, and getting a dog I feel like our home life has fallen apart (it hasn’t really, but it feels that way) and I want to go forward with more intentionality. 

So what I’ve thought of so far is that I want posts that fall into six categories: activities, sharing updates on our animals (bees, chickens, etc) and our garden, books, food, reflections, and connections (mostly on connecting with kids). I would like to bring in some of my professional life as it informs what I do here at home, but I’ll see how that works. 

I have yet to decide how often I will be posting or if I want to give myself some parameters for the blog posts so that they actually get done and don’t overwhelm me. I’ll share more next week in my final Advent reflections post as I work it out. I will be taking off the 12 days of Christmas, of the liturgical Christmas season and will return with the new blog on January 6th, Epiphany. 

Advent Reflections: Week 2

This week I wanted to share our family Advent tradition. It has four components to it that are based on my upbringing in the Episcopal church and as a German. 

Advent Calendar: I always had one of those chocolate calendars as a kid and I loved them. I’m not opposed to them, but I wanted to get back to the German roots of the tradition more. The Germans make so stunningly beautiful Advent calendars that each window reveals a tiny picture, but that feels like something Cam will appreciate more when she is a bit older (tween and teen years). I love the idea of a tiny gift each day, but decided I wanted to get away from Cam getting so much stuff. So I took the religious Advent wreath and made one for our table. Each Sunday of Advent we light a candle in it and each day there is a jar in the middle with an activity. Some are about giving (take groceries to the food bank) and others are something to make the season festive (make an ornament for the tree). 

St. Nicholas Day & Christkindlmarkt: Instead of opening presents on Christmas morning we put out Cam’s shoes on St. Nicholas Night and she gets her presents the next morning. We tried some other traditions, but I am trying to get as far away from the hype that Christmas morning presents brings. In the German tradition that weekend there is a Christkindlmarkt which is like a craft and food fair. Our local German society club puts one on and we go to pick out an ornament and buy some traditional cookies and sausages. 

Yearly Ornament: At the Christkindlmarkt we let Cam pick out an ornament from the blown-glass ornament vendor. This way when she leaves home she’ll have a small collection of ornaments to take with her. For the time being, they are put on our tree.  

Nativity Scene: I have a Nativity set that I remember very fondly from my childhood. Cam and I set it up each year together and she is allowed to play with the figures. Per what I think is a religious tradition and may also be German the Christ child does not arrive until Christmas morning and Mary and Joseph don’t arrive until Christmas Eve. Mary and Joseph also travel around the house during Advent on their journey to Bethlehem. I find this to be a lot more meaningful and way less creepy than that Elf on the Shelf. 

Now I will say Cam does get presents on Christmas. She has seven grandparents so they have her covered (although we limit them to one or two with no pressure to do any). I loved Christmas as a child, but I think it’s gotten a lot more commercial and a lot more intense and I don’t want that for our family. We have all we need and much much more. Cam doesn’t need lots of new toys each year nor does she need the hype of begging things she doesn’t really want. So I’ve tried to tie the season to religious and cultural traditions to tone it all down and make it more meaningful and special. 

 

Advent Reflections: Week 1

So, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking since my last downer of a post. I’m trying hard to let things go and be more proactive and outspoken when I see and experience things I don’t like or think aren’t right. This thinking has led me to a new direction I want to try with this blog and I thought Advent would be a good time to work out a plan and start sharing those plans, as it’s a season of expectation.

I love mommy blogs that share bajillions of activities and pictures and the like, but that’s not me. What I love to write about are a mix of things, but more big picture stuff. I do like to write about things I’m doing with Cam. I also love to use the blog as a way to keep me honest and keep me engaged with doing things with her. I also love to share book recommendations, particularly my Diverse Bookshelf. So I’ll be keeping those things.

I’m going to introduce a new format- so far I’m thinking limiting myself to about 350 words a post. I’m also going to have a schedule that I want to stick with. You might see my categories change and I desperately need to update my About Me page that I wrote three years ago! Some things may look a little different on the blog itself too, but by and large I like the clean format/layout I have going now. I’m letting other stuff go in my life so I can do this and I have to identify what’s going to give. I’m going to spend Advent (i.e. the rest of the year) planning more throughly and thoughtfully. 

Sunday Reflections: I am tired

I’ve had a rough couple weeks dealing with some bullshit and just sort of hit a breaking point last night. These are the thoughts that have now been running through my head as I reflect on what has been happening. 

I am tired of feeling like no one takes me seriously. That because I am a stay at home mom I must not  do anything (except lounge around and shop online); that I am some sort of airhead. I am so tired of feeling like people don’t take me seriously because I’m young and a woman.

I am tired of trying to balance all the things I want to do (build a strong library program, blog, read for work) with my job and with spending quality, meaningful time with my daughter. So often I feel like I’m failing at all those things. 

I am tired of the meme that tells us to be kind always. It feels too much like what we teach girls. Years of training I have to just “be nice”. Not make waves. Not stand up for myself. I am tired of trying to teach Cam that she can be more what our crappy society thinks of girls and yet failing to be able to do that myself. 

I am tired of the backward glances at what I wear and the fact that I don’t have on jeans, high heels and makeup while toting a four year old around. 

I am tired of feeling like I have to give several extra days to my job in the library even though I’m not paid. I’m tired of bending over backwards to make sure things are equitable for the teachers and my contract. 

I am tired of people feeling entitled. 

I am tired of petty, insecure, selfish and self absorbed people. 

I am tired of people asking me if our daughter will attend the private school my husband and I work at. And I’m tired of answering in a conciliatory and non-committal way to avoid making the school look bad or making it look like I don’t work there in large part because we need the money.

I am tired of keeping this in because I feel guilty feeling this way. These are all champagne problems. I could be homeless. Or a black. Or undocumented. Or a whole host of other things that are so much worse or more difficult than what I’m dealing with. 

And, I am just plain tired. I have a lot on my plate.

So, what am I going to do? Well, most of the time I just feel angry, like I might implode. But I feel like I reached a breaking point yesterday and I just need to make some decisions.

So, 

I am not going to take crap and sexist remarks from other people. I’m also not going to denigrate myself and what I do with Cam. I am going to remind people that I have work experience, life experience and an good education to back me up. This is going to be hard. I have years and years of conditioning that have taught me to be quiet. To be nice. That I should care what everyone else thinks and thinks of me. 

I’m done trying to reschedule work days that are taken up with other things that are not of my making. I work extra hours planning, setting up and on projects and that makes up for the times I don’t have the kids in the library. And if work is getting in the way of quality time with my daughter I’m not doing it. I’m done letting that interfere. 

I am going to say no. No you may not put your needs before my work. My work is important and just because you aren’t sure about my program doesn’t mean you get to decide that what you do is more important. (This comes specifically from what happened yesterday, but is broadly applicable.) No you may not put your needs before my own. My time is valuable and my needs are real. There are other things for you to do, go do them.  

I am going to try and be sure I am not feeling entitled to anything and am going to call out entitlement. You are entitled to nothing in this life. If anyone is entitled, it’s the people our society and government have disenfranchised and built systems that institutionalize racism and inequality around.

Why are the petty and self absorbed people always the loudest ones? I guess because they feel a certain sense of targeted injustice in the world. I am done engaging with them. 

I am done telling people Cam will go to private school. Their educational philosophy doesn’t fit with what I want for her, for starters. We also had a really shitty experience applying last year where the admissions office was not willing to hear our concerns. If we were any other family we would look elsewhere and we are going to. 

I am going to do the things I want to and not do the ones I don’t. I won’t be the book police at school. I won’t do extra things for work. I certainly won’t bend over backwards for a system that allows others to shirk work and time, but expects me not to.  I know I’ve consciously put things on my plate that are there, but I want to reassess and be sure they are things I am glad are taking up my time and are intentional not just conscious choices. If things don’t get done, they don’t get done. Sorry. There are only 24 hours in a day and I need to rest and focus on Cam during a lot of those. 

It breaks my heart that last night I actually looked over at my daughter and wondered if it was worth it. If giving up my career, my body, my time and putting myself out there for all the judgement there is around and in motherhood was worth her. Because of course she’s worth it. Fuck the system that made me question that. I am tired of it. 

Fire Safety

Life has been busy, but it was interrupted last week by a rather scary experience. The house behind ours burned down. We didn’t notice it was on fire until we heard the sirens, our power went out and there were 15 foot flames coming out of their roof. Everyone made it out safely, but we were very concerned for awhile that our shed or house could catch fire too. 

After the excitement had died down we realized we needed to look carefully at our fire safety and I thought I would share some of our ideas and plans here. 

Fire extinguishers: there is now one in each part of the house including the garage and shed. Fires can start in garages with cars and junk piled around it can feed the blaze. Having an extinguisher nearby may help. They are also incredibly important in the kitchen where a lot of other house fires start. NEVER put water on a grease fire, use an extinguisher if you have time. 

Escape route: we don’t have a big house so I don’t know how detailed we need to get. If we can, we’ll leave through a door. But every window has a screen that can be easily pushed out. If your screens are screwed on, get them replaced so they fit properly and aren’t attached if possible. If they are metal consider having them replaced with the plastic screening so it can easily rip in an emergency. Second stories need escape ladders in the rooms. 

Defensible space and tidiness: Keeping the sides of houses clear of debris and junk will help prevent a fire from spreading either from your house or to it. I know it’s hard to keep houses totally clean, especially yard debris, but it can make a difference. Also keeping rooms tidy and garages clean will help slow a fire’s spread. It won’t stop it, but it can keep it from having lots of fuel. Again a tough one, but looking at how jam-packed our neighbor’s house was I’m sure they were not very good housekeepers and that didn’t help. (I’m talking piles and stacks of things, not not picking up toys).

Smoke detectors: Probably the most terrifying part in retrospect was how quickly the entire house was engulfed in flames. It took about 15 minutes. If they hadn’t had smoke detectors and had been asleep, I’m not sure they would have gotten out. Seriously. Make sure you have smoke detectors and make sure the batteries are working. Don’t combine them with carbon monoxide detectors. Smoke rises so detectors should be on ceilings or up high. Carbon monoxide is heavy and sinks. These need to be near the floor or on it. If CO is high enough to reach your smoke detector or smoke is low enough to reach your CO detector, it’s too late. 

Spark arrester: If you use your fireplace be sure there is a spark arrester on the chimney. This will prevent sparks and ash from landing on your roof and igniting a fire or blowing over to your neighbor’s house and starting one. Having the chimney regularly cleaned can also reduce the chance of fire. 

If at all possible make sure your electrical wiring is up to code (I know that’s an expensive one) and be sure you aren’t doing anything like overloading circuits or plugging things in to tons of adaptors and extension cords or power strips. The fire at the neighbor’s was an electrical fire that started behind the TV. If you have time run outside and hit the breaker, but being careful to begin with can help. 

I think this is all timely information too because we’re coming up on the holidays when people put out candles, have fires in their fire places, and will be cooking a lot more. Never leave candles unattended or cooking (for more than a moment or two). Under the right conditions fires can spread rapidly. And if a fire does start, get out and call the fire department. Your stuff is not worth risking your life or your family’s lives for. 

Hundred Languages Read Along: Introduction

Hundre LanguagesIntroduction

I don’t usually read introductions. They tend to summarize what’s going to be discussed in each chapter and if I’m going to read the book, I can discover that for myself. The introduction here literally introduced the reader to Reggio Emilia, the city, and the surrounding area. It also did what introductions do and summarize each of the chapters. I did see how, if you did not plan on reading the book in its entirety, that could be useful. More information was provided than the chapter title so it would be easy to use this as a gauge for which portions would be most relevant and useful to you. They also explained why several of the chapters take the format they do, specifically why they are in interview form.

The chapter does go into a bit of detail about the title of the book, which stems from the famous exhibit that has been traveling the US for decades now. (Sadly I missed it when it was in a city a few hours south from where I live when Cam was tiny.) The authors wanted, after the exhibit opened, to elaborate on it and study it more fully. This was simply not possible in the exhibit format so they decided on a book. 

While all this information was interesting and marginally relevant, the introduction really shone in the last 8 pages or so where it gives an excellent historical overview of the educational and child care system in Italy.(They have high quality, state funded child care available to families from four months up! The US needs something like that.) It starts in the early 19th century, and without getting too dry and involved, covers political and social movements and reforms that shaped the system and allowed the Reggio Emilia approach to emerge and flourish. This was absolutely fascinating, but again not essential to understanding how the approach works or how to apply it (although I think they would argue differently). Certainly it gives a great foundation and at under ten pages it’s well worth reading. 

I do wish I could find an overview like that about American education. I think it would be very informative and would allow educators both a sense of how all the pieces of our educational system fit together and how to go about changing them for the better and adapting something like the Reggio Emilia approach to our schooling. In my own research I have come across the idea that our idea of school comes from an imagined ideal of the 1950s and it would be interesting to see both how that emerged and how it is changing. 

One last thought, I have an older edition (I believe the third edition is out now. It has a green cover.) which makes this one a bit dated. I suspect with the much more recent economic downturn and European economic crisis things have changed more, at least on an administrative level, and I would be extremely curious to know how that has impacted these schools and the services available to families. 

Activity in the Hive: Summer of Mess

This summer, because of two books I’ve been reading through, I decided to embrace mess and being off from work. I actually work several very part time jobs both from home and outside of the home. They aren’t what you would consider traditional part time jobs, so I often don’t think of myself as home only part time, but I suppose in reality I am. That means I try to embrace the time Cam and I have, but with farm chores, housekeeping, and work that crops up I am not always successful. But this summer I have planned to put aside a lot of my library blogging, my work and my hang ups about being messy. I picked out a ton of activities for Cam and I to do together. 

Everything will start at the beginning of June since that was the soonest I could wrap up the majority of my commitments. (I am still teaching two weeks of half-day summer camp classes and we have a long weekend for a professional conference.) However starting this week we are going to have two messy planned activities and a set of quiet boxes for each week (although some of those may carry over or repeat). I would like to blog about this summer and my plan is to have three posts a week. The first, going up on Mondays, will be pictures and descriptions of the quiet boxes. The second and third, going up on Tuesdays and Thursdays will be the messy activities we are doing with a picture or two. I’m having the posting schedule mirror our weekly schedule, but it will lag a week behind us. That means this will be the only post this week about our summer of mess so that I have some lead time to take pictures and write up the posts. If this becomes too much I’ll stop, but that’s the plan so far. Please check back if you are interested in seeing what we do!

If you are interested I highly recommend these two books- the books I am collecting my ideas from:

Screen Free TinkerlabTinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors by Rachel Doorley

150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids by Asia Citro

Separation of Home and Work

This week I just wanted to talk a bit about separating work life and home life and how that can be a struggle. I don’t think I’m alone in this and if anyone has suggestions I’m all ears. I also know that my jobs are not nearly as intense as other moms, many who work intense full time jobs. Part of the reason I keep my work to a minimum is because I have a hard time with keeping one from interfering with the other.  

I had a particularly unprofessional and nasty interaction with a future colleague this week. And now I have spent the last days and hours of last week reflecting back on it and trying to come up with a constructive response that won’t be coming from a reactive place. The unfortunate thing is, Cam lost out because I let it get under my skin too much. I haven’t been as attentive and, worse, she is picking up on my feelings of frustration and anger at how poorly I was treated.

I want Cam to see me deal with bad situations with grace and with firmness. I want her to see me stand up for myself while still being kind. But I don’t want to have her loose out when I need to deal with situations like this. I think this is just a “file under parenting is hard” situation. I don’t have a magical solution for how not to let this stuff get to me. I do try very hard to continue to remind myself to pay attention to Cam, take deep breaths, and let the frustration go. 

But this isn’t limited to being upset by an interaction with someone. This encompasses times when I have a project or deadline looming or even just when the to do list is hanging over my head.  It can be really hard to be present when I allow other things to creep in and bother me. In the fall I will be starting a one day a week library position and I am going to work very hard to have work stay at work and home be our sanctuary. 

Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t

I have a few odd comments lately, most notably from that awful woman who tried to screen Cam, that seem to imply that my staying home with Cam has some how been a bad thing and I just wanted to address that thought.

First of all, I understand that we are fortunate enough to have this even be an option. I know there are plenty of parents out there who would love to stay home with their kids, but just can’t (often for monetary reasons). While we are by no means rich, we are middle class enough that this is possible. I also know there are plenty of parents out there who would rather stick a pencil in their eye than be stuck at home with their kids all day every day. My personality is well suited to being home (in general and with Cam) so I’m perfectly happy being here with her.

All that being said, the situation of staying home with your kids vs. sending them to daycare is starting to feel a lot like a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. We all know there is a lot of blowback for parents who choose to go back to work and put their kids in daycare. People accusing them of not wanting to be with their kids, trying to scare them with stories of bad daycare and psychological trauma, and a lot of our culture trying to oppress women and keep them in the home against their will (I promise I won’t go on a feminist rant today!). But now I’m getting it too. For staying home with my daughter.

Now she’s not being socialized enough (whatever that even means). She’s too attached to me because I’m always around. And I’ve some how deprived her of a the wonder and beauty of some crap preschool program three mornings a week. Oh and the best comment I’ve gotten was that by being home she isn’t getting exposed to enough germs from other kids, so that when she starts school she’s going to get behind because she’ll get sick more than the kids who went to daycare. I about fell over at that one. 

Here’s the thing. All our kids need is our unconditional love and support. They also need a roof over their head, consistency at home, and food on the table. Make it work however you can. I’m sorry for the parents who want to be home with their kids. I’m sure that tension is hard, so let’s stop treating them like they are somehow ruining their child by sending them to daycare. We’ve all had different experiences in our early years and look at how many of us become functional members of society. 

Separation Anxiety and Strangers

This incident happened a few weeks ago and I’ve taken some time to process through what happened and how I feel about it and now I feel prepared to share about it. 

We are going through the process of applying to the Pre-K program at a local private school. It’s a great private school and although I still don’t think Cam will go there for the primary grades I really want her in the Pre-K program. The teacher is incredible and she has built an AMAZING Reggio-inspired program that I think Cam will love and will benefit from immensely. Part of the application process is a screening. While it seems silly for such small children to be screened, this is mostly to get a handle on the kids coming in, be sure they are ready, and ensure there aren’t any major learning issues (the school does not provide services for children with severe learning issues).

Prior to us going in for the screening I prepped Cam as best I could telling her a woman would be talking to her. I was not, and still am not, sure exactly what goes on in the screening. I assume they keep this hush-hush so that parents can’t prep their kids. I also knew that I would not be allowed in the room and told Cam that. She was so-so on me leaving, but since her visit went so well (with nary a tear shed) I thought it might be okay. 

It was not. There were a lot of things that led up to the sobbing shut down Cam had. The screener was not welcoming to either us or to Cam. There was no “hello”, no “how are you”, no greeting what so ever. The only interaction before curtly asking Camille to follow her alone into a room was “Is this Camille?” directed, not at Cam herself (who if she is entering Pre-K should be able to at least acknowledge her own name), but at me. She didn’t even glance at my husband. 

At that point Cam quickly and apprehensively climbed into my lap. As I, with little or no help from the screener, tried to coax Cam into the room more and more tears came. By the time I had dragged Cam the 15 feet to the doorway she was hysterical and begging to go home. She was scared. The screener’s response was to ask me if she was an only child and if she was in school. Yes and no. Her advice: there are parenting books on separation anxiety. And her parting wisdom: this doesn’t happen often. She also encouraged us to hire a babysitter to help her feel more comfortable being left with other people.

I’m entering rant mode here, be forewarned. My kid is three and half years old. She is just like me in that in order to quell her anxiety she needs a good sense of what is going to happen, what is expected from her, and a level of comfort in an environment before she will open up. Once she has those things, boy does she open up. You have to ask her to stop talking she opens up so much. Sometimes you have to remind her we aren’t at home and she can’t help herself to things without permission. I couldn’t provide her with any of that information prior to going to the screening. And the screener wasn’t willing to provide her with the time, energy, or information once we were there. Holy shit she was terrible. I’m amazed this woman has been working with kids for two decades. You wouldn’t know it.

I am well aware there are kids who are comfortable leaving their parents side and comfortable in new situations. However, being an only child and being home with me is not an indicator of either of those things, just like being in daycare and being one of several siblings is not an indicator of those things. Neither are they a cause of this apprehension. Over my years working with kids I have seen confident kids and shy kids come from homes with lots of siblings and homes with no siblings. I have seen kids who have spent their lives in daycare and at home and are both outgoing and shy. I would have been nervous in that situation and if that’s the case, how could I possibly expect my three and half year old, whose understanding of the world is so limited and whose experience is so brief and small, to be fine with it? With Cam this is a case of nature and nurture. That was me as a child and I was in daycare from a year old, certainly before I have any memory of being home.

As for the babysitter suggestion. I can’t even begin to express how inappropriate that was. For starters I don’t think leaving a very young child with some one you don’t know is the best option. Sure people do get babysitters. As a parent you need to get out and go away. But they have met and interviewed these people. Especially when their children are small. Fortunately for us we have family. Lots of family. Very close. They are the better, safer, and more appropriate option for our young child. Another point to consider here is the cost of hiring a babysitter. It so happens that if we had to pay to go out for an evening or a trip to Home Depot that wouldn’t go out. Our family is happy to watch Cam for free. I would also note that if we were to leave Cam with a babysitter it would be someone she had met on multiple occasions with us present. Some one we had vetted and were comfortable with, etc, etc. It would not be anything like the situation that happened in the screener’s office. In fact that kind of response (or lack thereof) would be grounds for immediate firing from a babysitting gig. And since this is to “help” Cam feel more comfortable with situations like we were in (where her parents leave her alone with someone she doesn’t know to do something she has no idea about) then we would need to hire a complete stranger and then leave her with them. So, that’s not a working model. 

Again, my kid is three and a half. If she was willing to walk off with a stranger with not even a glance over her shoulder at me, I would be horrified and terrified. There may be kids who are capable of that at three and a half, but it would be concerning. It would certainly raise red flags about safety and maybe attachment. This is NOT a case of separation anxiety. This isn’t me leaving her at school and she’s afraid I won’t come back, that I’m abandoning her. It’s a case of she doesn’t know who the f *ck you are and what you’re going to do to her behind that closed door and wants a reassuring presence there. From an evolutionary perspective, this is smart. She’s totally dependent on me, particularly for protection, and being worried would help keep her out of dangerous situations and help her survive. Not to mention she will let me leave her places and with other people. She will also let me walk out of line of sight in the store without worrying. An occasional, “Mama?” answered with a “Here” is all the reassurance she needs in that situation. 

My other concern is the implication that I’m supposed to make Cam do this. Force her to be alone in a room with some she doesn’t know, and now, doesn’t trust. That runs counter to everything I want to teach her about personal safety. I don’t believe in stranger danger. That idea is way too binary and doesn’t allow for the nuance there can be in apprehension and nervousness about new people and situations. I want Cam to trust her gut about how she feels, so that she can make decisions that she feels are right for her. It seems extreme, but a childhood of people telling her “you need to do this because I say so even though you aren’t comfortable” can eventually translate into her boyfriend telling her to get in the backseat when she’s a teenager not ready to have sex but doing it anyway. I have been in some hairy situations when it comes to personal safety and, while I can’t say what would have happened had I not trusted that creepy feeling I got, I am glad I went with it and removed myself from them. I want to give that same confidence to Cam and learning to trust that feeling starts now. Yes, at three and half. Not when she’s 18. So, I am not comfortable telling her to suck it up and do it even though I know she isn’t in danger. She doesn’t yet know that and it’s my job to help her feel comfortable enough to do this thing and discover for herself that it was unpleasant, but fine. 

The long and the short of it is, I am so angry with this woman. And I’m pissed that Cam has to go through this again. Considering this is the only grade I’m interested in for her at this school it hardly seems worth it. I talked to the woman in the admissions department about what happened and she is both a long time friend (seriously, going back 20 years) and a warm, caring, lovely person. I wanted her to know what had happened and why I was angry. I also wanted to see if she had suggestions for how to get past this. We’re going to try having Cam visit the admissions department and do some role playing to get her comfortable with the space where the screening will happen. I’ll keep you posted on how this goes. I actually think this might work really well as it will get Cam comfortable in the space.