My daughter just finished a temper tantrum. She doesn’t do this very often, at least she hadn’t until the last few days. I’m diagnosing her with molars coming in. It’s really the only thing that can explain the extreme crabbiness and restless sleeping without a sign of a fever, cold, tummy ache, ear ache, etc…
As I was trying to get her to settle down good old Dora the Explorer happened to be on and saved us. When I first set her down on the couch she was still screaming and kicking. My son, who is 3 years older than her told me to leave her alone. “Just stop talking to her Mom and she will settle down.” You know what? It actually worked!
All too often I’m reminding him that I am the parent and will discipline her, it’s not his job. My perspective may have just changed…
I couldn’t help but share my preschoolers observation. “Mom! It looks like it’s raining Dip-N-Dots!” And boy was he right! Ah the beautiful and simplified imagination of a child.
As we all weather this storm and the undeniable future flood, I hope adults are still able to appreciate the simple things like are children are able to. Let’s be thankful we live in this part of the world, where we are able to prepare for the challenges ahead. We will prevail, whether it is over a flood, blizzard, or, well, Dip-N-Dots…
This past weekend my daughter came down with the stomach flu for a few days.Â This morning I dropped my kids off at daycare and had myÂ fingers crossedÂ I wouldn’t get “the call” saying she was sick again.Â As I was kissing them goodbye my son all of sudden came down with an illness.Â It started when he sneezed, twice.Â I know, I know, the poor thing!Â All of a sudden his mood did a 360 flip, he thought he had a fever and a headache started.
Assuming this was just a plea to stay home like he little sister got to, I talked him into staying at daycare, for just an hour or two.Â I told him I would call after a little while and if he still didn’t feel good I would come pick him up.Â
After an hour went by I called daycare from my office.Â I spoke with my son’s preschool teacher and wouldn’t ya know, he was playing and running and having a great time with his friends.Â
It’s hard.Â I don’t want to discount what my children are feeling, but if I let them stay home every time they self-diagnosed an illness, well, I might as well quit my job…
My son has long locks.Â I’ve been cutting his hair since he was just over one year old and have also taken him in a few times to a professional.Â He has curly hair which makes it difficult to see if there are any imperfections, thus why I’ve decided to just cut it myself most of the time.Â And because he requests a haircut about every 3 weeks.Â
One morning after a recent haircut he woke up with groggys eyes and asked “mom, is my haircut still there?”Â I didn’t want to laugh at his question and make him feel silly for asking, so with a big grin I brought him to the bathroom so he could see for himself.Â When he realized that his hair was still shorter than it was prior to the haircut, relief came over his face.Â I gave him a big kiss and relieved myself thought, “thank God it is still there or I’d be cutting it every single day!”Â
Also, thank God for the innocence of children and the beautiful questions they often ask!
Maybe I was being an idealist when I thought being snowed in for 3 days would mean I’d get a lot accomplished at home.Â It surely didn’t happen.Â First off, my poor husband had to shovel off our roof, snow blow our drive way, 3 times, and even blowout an emergency path on our gravel road.Â I figured it wouldn’t be fair to ask him to help me clean the house the moment he came in from being outside!Â
While he was working so hard I felt the obligation to do my part.Â I dusted, then the kids wanted a snack.Â I put a load of laundry in, then was informed they needed help getting toys out.Â I cleaned the toilets, then realized it was lunch time.Â After lunch they wanted to do art projects, oh by the way mom, we need help with that too.Â Before I knew it nap time was upon us!Â Weâ€™re famous for taking 3 hour naps at my house, itâ€™s a beautiful thing.Â So by the time we would wake up from our naps, then it was supper time, then bath time, then chill out time and then bed time.Â Lots of “times” I knowâ€¦Â Just no room for cleaning time I guess!
As the toy makers have increased their ads during evening television shows, my son has requested more and more toys than ever before.Â Two months ago he said Santa could bring him anything and he’d be happy, now all of a sudden his list seems to be never ending.Â
The other day I asked him if he would like to go shopping with me and pick out toys for kids who don’t get any at Christmas.Â However he simply said, “no, I would rather go shopping for toys for me.”Â Ugh.Â As a parent I’m trying to figure out a way to instill a grateful and giving heart in my children.Â To help them understand all that we are blessed with and that others are not as fortunate, so we should help them out in times of need.Â Since I knew a shopping trip for other kids was not going toÂ go over well, I asked him if he could find a few toys that he doesn’t play with anymore that we could donate.Â To my surprise he quickly rattled off at least 5 items heÂ would gladly pass on to a needy child.Â
In the end I guess we are not perfect.Â But at least he is willing to take what is his and give to others, even if they are used a bit.
My daughter keeps rearranging ornaments on our Christmas tree.Â I thought I was being clever putting all of the breakable pieces above her reach.Â I try to have enough non-breakable kidsâ€™ ornaments for the little ones to enjoy so they arenâ€™t tempted by the few sentimental ones Iâ€™ve got.Â So, when we first put the tree up after Thanksgiving it had a nice balance of ornaments throughout.Â
A few hours after we finished decorating I saw her playing in the corner by the tree.Â I figured she couldnâ€™t hurt herself and couldnâ€™t ruin anything, so I let her be.Â After a little longer I walked over to more closely inspect what she was doing.Â She had taken all of the glitter snowflake ornaments, of which there were at least 20, and put them all on one branch.Â Thank goodness we have a fake tree and the branches are made of metal, a real one surely would have broke.Â
Then the other day I turned around and she had pulled a chair across the room to where the tree was, climbed up on the chair and was moving the ornaments from her eye level at the bottom of the tree up 2 feet, to her new eye level from the chair.Â She didnâ€™t seem to pay attention to the more breakable ornaments which were now in her reach, so I let her be.Â It was great entertainment for her at least and I knew she was having fun.Â
In the end my tree now looks a little goofy.Â Eighty percent of the ornaments are on one side and within a 1 foot width on the tree.Â Except for the lone branch on the bottom of course, still bearing the weight of 20 snowflakes.
Last night as we put our son to bed he told my husband he felt like he could maybe get sick.Â He hadn’t complained at all during the evening and didn’t look ill.Â So my husband put a bucket on his bed and left the door open, we figured it would pass.Â
After about 20 minutes or so I peaked in his room and he was still awake.Â He then told me that he wasn’t going to throw up but just didn’t want to be alone and asked if I would cuddle with him.Â At 5 years old, the cuddling is less and less frequent, so as his big brown eyes looked up at me, I just couldn’t resist.Â
As I lay down next to my son he gave me a big smile and closed his eyes.Â I kissed his nose and closedÂ mine as well.Â He then made a request.Â “Mommy?Â Will you play with my hair?”Â Oh you sweet sweet child.Â The only thing more relaxing and special than having someone play with your hair is doing that favor for your child.Â I twirled his natural curls through my fingers and studied his beautiful face as he quickly fell asleep.Â
Before my daughter was born I fell asleep with my son almost every night.Â It was so wonderful to share these simple, yet precious moments with him once again.
Yesterday I decided to start making Christmas cookies.Â I LOVE baking and typically make enough to hand out to some of our friends, clients, neighbors, parties we attend and have enough left for both sides of our families to enjoy.Â I decided we would start withÂ two kinds and let my preschool sonÂ help out.Â
I was quickly reminded that anything my son does, my daughter will be right on his heals.Â So I let her help, a little, as well.Â
Last fall when we moved into our new house and designed our kitchen I only had a few requests.Â One of them was to have a single level island so I could stand on one side and the kids could sit on stools on the other side and help me make cookies.Â My husband and our kitchen expert both chuckled at my firm request, however my wish was granted.Â
As the kids and I began our cookie-making day, my husband grabbed his phone and took a picture.Â He then sent it to our kitchen guy/friend as proof.Â
Take that guys, I was serious!Â
Overall the process went smoothly.Â I’m not gonna lie and say I wasn’t nervous at times.Â With a huge bowl full of enough ingredients for 4 batches of cookies, my heart was pounding as my 2 year old daughter dumped her half cup of sugar in.Â I pictured her grabbing the bowl and dumping it all over herself.Â But, she did good and the cookies came out perfect.Â
The only downside of the day was the belly ache from eating just a few too many cookies.
Last week my husband was elk hunting in Colorado.Â I can hold my own at home alone with the kids for a few days, but for a week?Â I honestly was a little nervous.Â The first night, just hours after he left, was our worst night of the whole week.Â
My game plan was to get my daughter, 2, to sleep first, preferably around 8:15 or 8:30 and then get my son, 5, down by 9pm which is his typical bedtime.Â A few days prior my son had broken his arm, that is another story in itself.Â But as I was finally getting my daughter to sleep, my son barged into her room saying his cast itched.Â So after itching the cast with a Q-Tip, we tried again with the little girl.Â I asked my son to hang out in his room and read books, quietly.Â I had almost succeeded with getting her to sleep and my son loudly informed us that he needed to go to the bathroom and required my help with his clothes.Â
By this time we were pushing 9pm and I wanted to get him in bed too.Â I asked him to lay down and that I would check on him in a few minutes, once his sister was finally asleep.Â Again, I was moments from successfully coaxing the little one to sleep when my son started crying and yelling for me.Â He said he couldnâ€™t get comfortable with the cast and wanted desperately to take it off.Â He promised he wouldnâ€™t move his arm all night if only I would take it off of him.Â By now my daughter was crying because I had left her alone, awake of course, in her own bed.Â My son was crying and well, I joined them.Â
I felt so bad for my son as I explained to him that only a doctor could take his cast off and we were going to have to figure out a way to make it through the next few weeks.Â I felt bad for my daughter because she was so overly tired and I just couldnâ€™t get her to sleep.Â And, I felt a little sorry for myself.Â Missing my husband and at this moment, mostly for selfish reasons.Â Letâ€™s face it, bedtime is always easier when you can play man-to-man defense.