La Tela di Carlotta
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Happy 5th birthday, Oliver!

Mar 15, 2020

My little monkey,

You’re 5 today, and we’re on a farm in New Zealand: I honestly can’t think of a better place for you to celebrate your special day. In nature, with all the freedom you can possibly ask for, and a pet goat called Mara that follows your every step and “protects” you from the sheep. When I look at you here, like it happened before on other farms, I have this feeling that you’re exactly where you want/need to be.

Last year, in my birthday letter, I made you a promise: I’ll keep learning about you, and adapting myself to you. Today I was reflecting if I were able to keep my promise.

I know I’m not always the mother you need me to be: these first 10 months as a full-time traveling family have tested me and my mental health in new, unpredictable ways, and while dealing with my personal demons, I sometimes struggled to accept and welcome your changing moods, your big emotions, and your “non-senses”—because the way you see the world doesn’t always makes sense to me.

But I also spent more time with you than ever before: without school, close friends, and familiar sight, you and Emily have often been my only friends, my adventure buddies when daddy was working, my mood lifters and my sanity checkers (sometimes the exact opposite, sure, but that’s just motherhood, right?).

We talked more than ever. I observed you more than ever.

I’ve watched you grow from a reserved big boy, into a confident little man, someone who chats everybody up, is not afraid to ask questions, helps Emily and shows her the way. I’ve watched you conquer fears, try new things, get out of your comfort zone, and adapt with ease. I’ve watched you learn about the world—and you always surprise me with your memories of places, cultures and people. I watched you turn the whole family into non meat-eaters with tricky questions like, “Do you like piggies? Then why do you eat them?” (How can you argue with that?). I watched you realise that the world is not always like we want it, but we can always try to make it better, like that time that you made me run after a plastic bag flying around the streets of Bali, so it won’t end up in the sea. I’ve watched you make friends everywhere in the world, without even noticing the color of their skin or the clothes of their belief. I’ve watched you put yourself in other people’s shoes and feel their emotions in a way that many people work their entire existence to achieve (I might be one of those). I’ve also watched you fight for what was important to you, being it cleaning the beach even if it was already late, or having to get more food because the goat ate it all and there was nothing for the sheep.

And when these changes came with a fight, I often managed to remind myself: I’m the one who has to adapt. I’m the one who has to be more understating, more patient, more welcoming.

So yes, I think I kept my promise, and I honestly think you feel it, too: you show and accept love more often, our relationship has improved, our friendship has strengthened, we respect and accept each other more, we’re both more willing to compromise. But above all, I think I finally learnt that to me loving you unconditionally means that I don’t want you to change, I want to change for you. I can’t always do it, but I always try.

Happy birthday, my little man. I can’t wait to see what this month on the farm will bring.

Mamma

And here’s a little conversation that made us smile the day before we celebrated your birthday with nonna in Bali:

“Daddy, what are you giving me for my birthday?”“Oli, you know we don’t do birthday gifts, we buy things when we need them”“No, I know, I mean, you make something for me”“What would you like?”“I like you to draw a Spiderman, a bicycle and a heart”.“Ok, Oli, I can do that”.“Thank you, daddy”.

Daddy told me, and I made it happen.

Tell me what you think

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The blog

I write mainly about Montessori, parenthood, and multilingualism. Here are some recent posts.

Montessori
One day a few years ago my husband came home and said, "Why don't we put a mattress on the floor in the baby room? It'd be much more natural". "Never" was my reply. That's how our Montessori journey started. Since then we've been living, breathing and applying the philosophy at home day in and day out, starting from ourselves. Because educating children starts from the parents.
Bean and seed mosaic
I'm not perfect. I'm aware
DIY yoga cards for kids
Children at the restaurant: let's recalibrate expectations
Don't ask your children to share their toys
Those "good job" that erode our children's confidence
Our Montessori birthday
Two alternatives to screens that my kids love
Using fear and threats to control children is never right!
"Stop crying!" doesn't work
Living sustainably
Living sustainably for me doesn’t only mean to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It means to make decisions that are sustainable for our planet, the people on it, but also for our life, our lifestyle, and our happiness. It means to take any daily chance to evolve and be happier, healthier, kinder, more responsible and more caring human beings—the only sustainable way for a meaningful future.
Face yoga is an act of self love
Why you should wear the same outfit twice on Instagram
The power of creating habits (and why you should do it, even if you then break them!)
Responsible eating is the diet of the future (Would you like to teach it to your kids?)
The power of NOT complaining: can you do it for a whole month?
Clean up your planet, please!
Infographic: 8 steps to switch to cloth nappies (a guide for reluctant parents)
A personal note on happiness
A personal note on social media
A change of life always widens your horizons
New to La Tela?
I’ve prepared collections on various topics that I’ve written over the years. Perhaps you’ll find one that interests you.

Travel

We sold everything to travel the world for two years. We're currently in New Zealand.

Books

In 2020 I wrote 4 books for the Italian collection “Gioca and Impara con il metodo Montessori” curated by Grazia Honegger Fresco. The collection is a project by Il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport.

We also implemented the workshops of the last 15 volumes of the collection with Oliver and Emily.

Podcast

On my podcast, “Educare con calma”, I talk about various topics, from Montessori to sustainability. Only in Italian!

Oct 16, 2020 • 19m
La nostra routine con i bimbi
Mi chiedete spessissimo quale sia la nostra routine a casa con i bimbi e in questo episodio vi svelo che noi, una routine vera e propria, non ce l'abbiamo. Abbiamo una routine minima e indispensabile, che è un concetto che mi sono totalmente inventata su due piedi mentre parlavo a briglia sciolta in questo episodio, ma che credo funzioni davvero. Almeno per noi. La routine minima e indispensabile, secondo me, risponde anche a un altro "problema": trovo che ci bombardino spesso con l'idea del...
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Oct 9, 2020 • 24m
Sostenibilità: come sensibilizzare i bambini e i giovani adulti | Con Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli
In questa puntata a due voci di Educare con Calma – divisa a metà perché amo gli episodi corti - parliamo di sostenibilità e per farlo ho invitato mia sorella, Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli, project manager della Federazione dei Giovani Verdi Europei e un esempio per chiunque voglia intraprendere un viaggio nella sostenibilità: negli ultimi ha cambiato tutta la sua vita per ridurre la sua impronta di carbonio e per prendere ogni giorno decisioni più sostenibili per il nostro pianeta e in questa ...
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Oct 2, 2020 • 24m
Intraprendere un viaggio nella sostenibilità | Con Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli
In questa puntata a due voci di Educare con Calma – divisa a metà perché amo gli episodi corti - parliamo di sostenibilità e per farlo ho invitato mia sorella, Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli, project manager della Federazione dei Giovani Verdi Europei e un esempio per chiunque voglia intraprendere un viaggio nella sostenibilità: negli ultimi ha cambiato tutta la sua vita per ridurre la sua impronta di carbonio e per prendere ogni giorno decisioni più sostenibili per il nostro pianeta e in questa ...
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Instagram

I update Instagram almost every day to be "close" to my family far away.

Why La Tela di Carlotta?
I dreamed of the name La Tela di Carlotta. One morning I woke up and in my dreams I had created a blog named just like the American novel (Charlotte's Web). Many years and endless ups and downs later, this web of thoughts and stories is my work. It took me a long time to understand what kind of online presence I wanted and today I know: I'm transparent, I show real life, I don't advertise, I only recommend sustainable brands (and not only because they pay me) and I believe in the value of my blog and my courses—because if we don't believe in the value of our work, no one will believe in it for us.
Carlotta
Carlotta dreaming of La Tela
I know! I don't want it to be over yet either.