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Including in Cleaning

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My daughter, Esther, loves to watch me work. If it’s cleaning the bathroom or vacuuming the floor, she loves to follow me around and ride along with the business. However, when it comes to washing dishes she isn’t happy. What I’m doing is too far up and out of site for her to watch, and Mommy standing there doing, well… something, seems boring to her always-active self.

Now that she understands most of what I say, I’ve come up with a solution; let her help me.

She stands on a chair next to the sink and sticks her arms as far into the soapy water as she can and does her best to “scrub” the dishes. She needs to wear the biggest bib I have and there is a puddle of water to clean up afterwards, but she loves it and I do too. It might take twice as long to get done but I can see the concentration and happiness on her face as she “helps.”

I’ve learned that I can include her in many of my activities. Including her might mean more work to get the job done, but the alternative can be a lot of frustration when she’s winning about wanting attention and I’m trying to juggle patience and cleaning at the same time.

If I’m taking the garbage out, I let her walk outside with me. If I have to get the laundry, I take her along and let her press the elevator buttons. If I’m sweeping, I give her a broom too. And if I’m washing the floor I give her a cloth. At only fifteen months I can already see how desperately she wants to be a grown-up and, if possible, she would love to participate in everything I do.

When Hubby isn’t around to back you up

I recently traveled to Bolivia to visit my father’s side of the family. And with me were my two children and my parents who accompanied us the entire time. My wonderful and supportive husband James couldn’t join us due to the tickets being pretty expensive. We went for three weeks and enjoyed the family time very much, but the hardest thing I had to deal with was parenting all by myself. It wasn’t that I didn’t have help taking care of the kids. It was the fact that my actions as a parent were called into question many a time … Continue reading

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Highlights

My daughter, Esther Jane, is almost twelve months now and it has me thinking back over the highlights of this past year. Here is a list of my favourite things about being a parent in the first year.

Mommy and Me

-The smiles. There is nothing like a baby’s smile. It lights up her whole face and there isn’t any doubt of it’s sincerity.

-The milestones. Learning to smile, laugh, sit up, clap, wave, crawl, and stand. Each event was met with joint excitement from all three of us.

-The communication. Hearing her say “mom, dad, kitty, I love you” and more. All those, “did I hear her right?” moments.

-The cuddles. When she wraps her little arms around me I never want it to end. When we get into a frustrating battle of wills, sometimes a hug is what we both need to get us back on track. I’ve learned that wet, sloppy kisses are the best.

-The personality. Watching the characteristics she was born with emerge full-force. Learning what she likes and dislikes and being able to know what she wants without using any words.

-The learning. Showing her how the world works, getting down on my hands and knees with her and seeing things from her level. Dancing, singing, and sharing jokes that no one else gets.

- The love. Knowing that she gives me all her trust and heart. It’s scary to see someone put so much faith in you but it’s also a source of confidence and motivation to do my very best as a parent.

What are some of your favourite things about being a parent?

Little Shadows

What is the one thing that is seemingly connected to your fingertips on a warm sunny day, the one thing you can’t shake off? Your shadow is your mirror. And so it is the case with mothers and their young children. Over time these little shadows will grow up and become more independent. Yet during the crucial stages of babyhood and toddlerhood, children are their parents’ mirrors. What are you teaching your young children? The teaching stage begins at day one. Intimidating? Yes, even for me who is on her second baby. So how can a mother make the best … Continue reading