Monday, November 9, 2009
Said daughter is fully knowledgeable about different types of cells in the body and what they do, but especially white blood cells (it is cold and flu season, after all). As she puts it, "white blood cells find and gobble up things that don't belong." An unfortunate accident with a friendly teddy bear led my daughter to discover that teddy bears only have white insides. The following conversation ensued:
"Why are his insides white, Mommy?"
"Maybe it's his blood cells that make his insides look white. But it's probably just his stuffing."
"Why doesn't he have red blood cells?"
"Maybe because he's not alive, so he doesn't need red blood cells to carry oxygen around his body."
"Oh. Why does he need white blood cells?"
"Teddy bears are a great comfort when you're sick. He wouldn't want to get stuck with a virus, would he?"
The discovery that teddy bears actually fight viral infections has yet to be published in a medical journal, but I'm sure the research is well underway. Didn't they spend a bunch of research money on why chicken soup makes you feel better when you're sick? Why not teddy bears? In the meantime, I feel a story brewing about a heroic bear who assists children in fighting viral infections simply by being snuggly.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
7:00 am- My daughter tells me she is the Beast and I am Beauty. Ok. If that is any indication of how the day is going to go, at least I’m prepared.
7:30 am- Beast eats all his oatmeal (because Beasts need to be strong to be fierce).
8:00 am- Beauty helps Beast pick out some beautiful courtly clothes for the day.
8:30 am- Beauty vacuums while Beast begrudgingly dusts and helps vacuum (because a clean castle is a happy castle). Singing helps us along.
9:30 am- My daughter tells me that I am now the Beast and she is Beauty. Was it the vacuuming that turned me beastly?
10:00 am- Beast convinces Beauty that the castle is being attacked by dragons. Beauty climbs into her chariot while the horses and Beast whisk her off on a nice 2 ½ mile jog through the forest. Beast is happier with a little exercise.
10:30 am- Beauty runs with the horses then rides her bike (“it’s NOT a horse, Beast, it’s a bicycle!”) around the neighborhood with Beast in hot pursuit.
11:00 am- Beauty finds a baby who needs a home and invites her to stay in the castle while Beast makes lunch and tidies up.
1:00 pm- As we settle down for naptime books, my daughter says, “I’m just June now and you‘re just Mommy.” “Oh Good- I’ve kind of missed being Mommy. But I had fun, too!”
Not every day will be the perfect pre-school day. Neither of us were in the mood, today, for counting, letters or anything structured. Besides, the house looks clean. We got our exercise. And we had fun.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll get to be a dinosaur.
I like dinosaur-days.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Blogging has forced me to be a little honest about myself: Apparently, I'm not perfect. Sad, but true. I'm not unique in this; I am a mom. Here are some of my top issues:
1) Parenting: I'm not a fan of being forced to parent someone else's kid because they don't feel like it (of course I don't mean you, silly!). I am, apparently, a big fan of standing on a soapbox and preaching about it.
2) Junk food and sugar: It's a special treat. That doesn't mean they should serve it at every event where children are welcome to attend. Would the world collapse if someone offered a 3 year old a carrot stick? If they're hungry enough... well, you know how that goes.
3) Commercialized toys and other junk: Don't we have enough to shield our children from without having to be worried about lead paint, choking hazards and commercialization? I say, let them play with blocks and read books. It won't kill them to be the last kid on the block to play Rock Band.
That's enough ranting for one day. I enjoy the simple things and I want my kids to enjoy them, too. Is that too much to ask? How about you? Is there something in your world that drives you to the edge of crazy? Or beyond? I'd love to hear about it!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
This is an amazing book! The Jesus Storybook Bible is a great Bible for kids of all ages (my mom loves it as does my 3 year old). Whether you read the Bible for the cultural experience or because of your faith, this is a great addition to your bookshelf! Sally Lloyd Jones is a wonderful storyteller and gives these classic Bible stories a twist that is irresistibly fun and easy to read. Artist Jago maintains cultural accuracy (sometimes hard to find in Bible books for kids) with a beautiful color palette and style that holds the attention of even more rambunctious toddlers. Good news- The Jesus Storybook Bible is being re-released as a deluxe edition with an audio cd featuring David Suchet. Some samples are available on the website. There are some publicity contests going on, so check it out on the website and join in! If I win I promise to share with you all!
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Tonight my daughter requested a story about a horse (lately we've been giving her a choice of an animal and allowing the story to unfold naturally. Lately she's been choosing a horse). Daddy told the story, tonight. Here it is:
Once upon a time there was a horse. The horse lived on a farm with a barn, stables, fields and many other animals. The big strong horse worked hard for the farmer, year after year, plowing diligently in the fields, day after day, never complaining. The farmer always gave him the best oats and brushed his coat every day. The horse believed that he was made for this: for hard work, great rewards, and a gentle life. One day, the farmer said to the horse, "would you like to go run in the pasture?" The horse tossed his mane. "I never thought of it, before," he replied. "But I suppose I could try it." So, with a kind smile, the farmer led the old horse to the wide open pasture and released him. The old horse began with a pleasant trot, enjoying the sunshine and open space. Then he saw a bluebird. The little bluebird said, "oh great horse, I bet you can't run faster than I can fly!" So the horse began to chase him. He ran faster and faster, pushing his limits, breathing harder and harder, sweat glistening on his flanks. He chased the bird across the pasture where he finally met an open gate at the other end, leading out into a deep green field, surrounded by forest. But the mighty horse stopped. The horse remembered the farmer. He remembered the farmer's kindness, always giving him the best feed and gently brushing his coat every night. The mighty horse tossed his head and turned. He ran back to the farmer at the other end of the field. The farmer greeted his old friend with a smile. "Why did you come back?" The horse replied, "I ran all the way to the other end of the field. I realized for the first time that I was made for this, to run free. The air tasted sweet, the sky was blue, but I remembered you. Your kindness, always giving me the best oats, and your gentleness, brushing my coat every night. I thought maybe I ought to come back and keep working for you as I have all these years." The farmer lovingly stroked the mighty horse's nose. "Ah, old friend, your time plowing is through. You passed the test and came home to me. It's time to do what you were made to do. Go run." The horse tossed his head, turned and ran and ran and ran. Running free, as he was made to do.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Some other fun ways to introduce your kids to cultural diversity:
- Make a trip to a big city for a cultural festival. While you're there, make it a point to have some cultural experiences. Visit ethnic neighborhoods, try their food, listen for other languages being spoken and teach your kids to seek out experiences that are unfamiliar.
- Plan a cultural "stay-cation." Do some research on a particular culture. Borrow books, make costumes, and cook food that reflect that culture. Involve your kids and have a party! Invite friends and make it a community event. (check out our "Mama Panya's Pancakes" for a great Africa-themed book with lots of great food ideas!)
- Your local library probably has travelogues or at least videos of journeys to far away places. Surprise your family by renting one and having a movie night around that video instead of the usual Hollywood blockbuster.
- Consider hosting a foreign exchange student in your home. If your kids are old enough to hang out with them, this is a particularly rich experience, for the whole family.
Go Barefoot at http://BarefootTori.com Enjoy!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Author Dyan Eybergen is a pediatric psychiatric nurse, but she's also a mom. This is obvious by the practical wisdom in her book, Out of the Mouth of Babes: Parenting from a Child's Perspective. Dyan has delivered a gently constructed book directing the parent to "develop an understanding for how a child sees and feels about a given situation, to listen to and respect your child's point of view, and to attune to a child's individual needs and personality, and parent him accordingly." Prosaic and situational, but practical, this book was the perfect read for rare stolen moments throughout my day. One particular afternoon I landed smack in the middle of Chapter 7: Discipline. We always strive to use natural consequences at our house, and Dyan had plenty to offer in this vein. By the end of the day I was implementing some new ideas. Simple. Commonsense. Why was I not doing this, already?
For example: Dyan suggests that when giving a time-out to a child, you should not give them warnings beyond the first recognition of misbehavior. I had fallen into a particularly nasty trap of warnings with my daughter. I can proudly say I am recovering from this illness and enjoying the fruits! My daughter is also learning t0 practice self-quieting during time-outs and is recognizing when she is ready to rejoin the activity at hand without an arbitrary time-limit.
This books offers a refreshing reminder to recognize your child's uniqueness and suggestions on tailoring your parenting to fit the individual child. Clearly, the author has been down the road of "one size does not fit all" parenting and she now offers her wisdom to the rest of us. One of the best parts of this book is the collection of children's quotes throughout. I'll leave you with a couple:
"If you won't let me have a cookie before breakfast, how am I going to grow any bigger?" -Talen, age 4
"I don't want to go on time-out. Maybe you should go back to babysitting school." -Kohan, age 6