My Top 10 Universal Truths of All Kids

In observing my own two kids and watching other nieces, nephews, and friends’ kids, I’ve come to discover many universal truths of all children.  Here are a few of my random observations:

All kids…

  1. Have their own distinct animal noise in one volume: EXTRA LOUD! My daughter’s is kind of like a trilled cawing of a sea gull.  My son can get so high pitched and screechy…so possibly another bird call.
  2. Have no concept of time – especially when getting ready for school or you are rushing to get out the door.
  3. Are oblivious to their own messes. “What is there to clean up?!” ha ha
  4. Would only ever wear sweatpants or soft pants if they could.
  5. Can be wise beyond their years and find ways to melt your heart. My daughter sees the beautiful flower in the dandelion and not the annoying weed. She also says “I love you all day, everyday.” Ditto sweetheart!
  6. Are little sponges, soaking in everything they see and hear. This is why we try to choose our words carefully.
  7. Are fireballs of energy – sometimes as if they had a double shot of espresso every waking hour. How can I bottle that up & borrow some?
  8. Are surprising, constantly keeping you on your toes. There’s no roadmap in parenting, as I wrote in this post, and the journey together presents chances to learn and grow.
  9. Should get outside everyday! They just simply behave better with some fresh air. (Also mentioned in Top 5 Things I Learned from my Kids).
  10. Are among life’s greatest blessings. They inspire me to do better and be better, and I thank God daily for their presence in my life. I write about this sentiment here (Attack of the Kissing Monsters and other Million Dollar Moments) and also here (On Parenting: the Milestones are Different Now).

What other universal truths are there for kids?  Let me know what I should add to this list!

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An Open Letter to Fellow Daycare Parents and my Kids

Dear fellow daycare parents,

I have a bone to pick with you. Please refrain from sending your sick child to daycare.

I know you have important things to do – work, meetings, deadlines, appointments, etc.. It is difficult to miss such important things when you have a sick child, but please just find a way to make it work that does not include exposing your child’s sickness to the entire daycare.

Some families have multiple kids in daycare, so it’s terribly easy for illness to spread throughout the entire family. Your decision to send your child to daycare affects everyone at the center – children and employees alike.

Please be considerate and put yourself in your child’s position asking, “Who would I want caring for me if I felt this badly?”  The answer is typically NOT a daycare teacher – it’s you!  And there’s no place like home to sleep and recover from feeling rotten.

Due to your poor decision-making, I now have two children at home with pink-eye.  That was one illness we had not yet encountered, and such an introduction is always enjoyable a royal pain. Thank you for the inconvenience and annoyance that you have shared with my family.

I hope you think twice before sending your sick child to daycare (or even going out to communal play-places or play-dates). I will try to do the same as a courtesy to your child and family as a whole, so we can enjoy many healthy, happy days.

Sincerely,

Mama O

Dear big sister and little brother,

If you see another kid at daycare who is sneezing, coughing, rubbing red eyes, just run away, wash your hands, and stay as far away as possible from him or her. Do not kiss, hold hands, touch eyes, wipe noses, eat boogers, lick the table or floor, or put toys in your mouth. Wash hands often!

Please arrange NOT to get sick on Mondays and Tuesdays – the only two days that Mom works. Dad and I are much better equipped to handle sickness Wednesday through Sunday.  Please also shoot for getting sick during typical daytime hours too, such as between the hours of 7am – 8pm.

We appreciate any and all attempts to follow our suggestions.

Love you!

The Management – Mama and Daddy O.

(I also thought about writing to employers, asking for their flexibility in working with employees who are parents. Providing sick days or vacation days that can be used is all part of making it easier on families. I know this isn’t always the case.)

Isn’t this the truth?! Family Guy Google Chrome Commercial

Video

Chrome can’t stop you from being interrupted. As a mom, I can completely relate to this feeling – AND the blank expression on the Lois’ face! Haven’t we all been here! My son can be just like Stewie, constantly wanting to come up and be held – even at age 2! I keep telling myself that my days of this are limited, so I shouldn’t get too annoyed. Well done Google Chrome. With recognizable characters, an annoying voice that gets your attention, and humor, I’d say it’s an effective ad.

What do you think of this ad? Can you relate too?

Wise Words from a Super Mom

In my 100th blog post, I had mentioned that parenting seems to be getting easier.  This is QUITE oversimplified, as children can be a both joy and challenge regardless of their age.

A better way of putting it came from a dear friend, and super mom, who started her own parenting journey years ahead of me and made it all look SO EASY!  She had her first child during her second year of law school while her husband was also in grad school and her sister an undergrad all at the same school.  Some may say it was crazy, but like any mom and family, they made it work with rotating childcare schedules and a whole lot of love and hard work.

Truth is: There’s no road map for parenting – or anything in life for that matter! You have to live your life and go with what works for your own unique situation.

Okay, on to those wise words:

“As your children grow, they become less physically demanding, and more psychologically demanding.”

THIS is the best way to describe parenting! With my kids approaching two and four, I’m happy to only change diapers for one (not two like I did earlier), only help one get dressed, and just provide more direction for my older daughter. Sure there are still time outs and standard discipline, but I’m more challenged by the questions I’m being asked by 3.75 year old.  Things like:

Big sister: Why is that man not wearing a shirt?

Me: Well, sweetie, it’s really hot out today, and sometimes men choose not to wear shirts to stay cool.

 

Big sister: That boy isn’t wearing a helmet on his bike.

Me: Yeah, sometimes people don’t make good / safe choices. I’m really glad you wear your helmet.

 

Big sister (after hearing no): I don’t like you anymore.

Me: That’s not very nice to say. That makes me sad.

Big sister (later): Sorry mom.

Whew! These questions can be exhausting! She is also yelling at her younger brother when he does basic two year old things: throwing food, not listening, screaming, etc.  I remind her that she was that way when she was younger, and we have to teach him how to behave.

Do you agree with this revised parenting statement? Can you relate to these questions?  Any advice on other responses?  Have a great day all!

Separation Celebration!

We all know a lot about separation anxiety and how difficult it can be to leave your screaming child with another caregiver.  I’ve dropped both of my babies off at daycare, before I quit my job just over a year ago.  Though I know both of my children would eventually calm down and enjoy playing (or so the teachers told me), it still can tug at my heart strings leaving unhappy children.

In stark contrast to separation anxiety, I’ve lately been feeling more Separation Celebration! Let’s start with a definition:

Separation Celebration – proud, happy goodbyes, when you see your child excited to leave you to experience new and different things with other children and teachers.

I first experienced this last week, when I left my 3 year old daughter with her swimming teacher for her class, after being in the water with her for the first few class sessions.  First off I was happy NOT to get in the chlorinated water, and second I have been feeling that my daughter is ready for more time away from me.  Since she had some difficulty listening to the teacher in previous swimming classes, we weren’t sure how it would go when she’d be on her own.  With some apprehension – and forewarning from the teacher that there may be tears – I held her hand and walked her to her class.  She simply let go of my hand and went to her teacher – all without any tears, screaming, or protests!

I was impressed! I walked away from the class, so she couldn’t see me, but covertly spied on her from afar.  I saw my daughter happily kicking, paddling, jumping in, and splashing around according to her teacher’s instructions.  I could not have been prouder!  After class, she ran (whoops – walk around the pool sweetie) back to me, happy as a clam.  Later in the week she told me she now can put her ear in the water. She’s proud of what she’s learning too.

My second separation celebration also occurred last week, when I dropped both kids in childcare at the Y, so I could go to a body flow class (tai chi, yoga, pilates mix set to music). While my 17 month old son was a little upset, my daughter was excited to go play. After a wonderful class, I picked them up and we hung around the play area for snack time and more playing.  My daughter met some other kids around 3 years old, and said, “Look mom, I’m making friends.”  Again, I was thrilled to see her having fun and enjoying the company of her “friends.”

My firstborn is growing up for sure!

It is so rewarding to see and experience your child coming into his or her own.  To be able to get dressed, use the bathroom, eat, and get ready to leave the house with minimal help (and tantrums) is a HUGE accomplishment. I even see big sister telling little brother how to behave. “You don’t throw your food on the floor” is what she has been saying lately.

She’s definitely ready for  3 year old preschool – something I hope to have her by Fall, when I hope to be back at work in either a part time or full time capacity.  It’s reassuring, knowing my husband and I have done a lot of the heavy-lifting of parenting (and will continue to do so), that has helped prepare our daughter for the next phase – going to school. I’m excited for her to learn from teachers other than me and Daddy O (or other relatives and babysitters) because it really takes a village, as they say, to raise a child.

The separation is good for both parent and child. I love my time away to get out and recharge. And as parents, we need our date nights for a chance to reconnect and not only talk all about the kids. We owe it to ourselves as moms to take care of our OWN needs too in order to be a happy, healthy mom and wife, who can set a good example for our children.