Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
We have a Lego problem in my house. And by “we,” I mean my husband. He has very fond memories of his childhood
obsession love of his Legos, and I have the tubs of his beloved bricks, just waiting in the garage for our boys to be big enough for them to play with, to prove it. For now we are a Duplo family, and we have amassed what I think is a completely outrageous amount of them—he’s been placed on Lego Time-Out!
I remind myself every time I step on one of those
swear wince inducing suckers, that at least they aren’t the small sized variety, microscopically embedded in my aching foot. But Legos are one of the most pernicious of the love/hate toys for me. My son can happily play with them for a blessedly good chunk of his regularly highly distractible pre-schooler attention span, but they get everywhere, and cleanup takes forever, if I don’t think strategically (hello former life in management, I've still got it on occasion).
I will tell you that the best advice my mother-in-law has given me thus far was obviously hard won during her years weathering my husband’s young obsession, and is, as most good solutions are, beautifully simple: a sheet. The rule in this house is that my Legomaniac can dump out every single Lego block to his heart’s content, as long as it stays on the sheet.
That makes clean-up go from this:
To this, in about ONE minute:
Another instance of
brilliance survival instinct I’ve had is to save the flaps on the Lego boxes, so when my little builder simply MUST have the fire station rebuilt exactly to specifications (again), I have something to go on. Now he can also use these pictures to inform me I’m missing a critical piece that MUST be found as a guide for himself:
As long as it stays on the sheet...
Do you have any brilliant Lego management techiques? Do share!
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
You know those cute musical cards, the ones that play snippets of well known songs to express your sentiments? My three year old loves them. In a pinch I can always get a smile if I visit the aisle that has them, until he starts demanding that we get *them all* because to him they are "toys." And that's a problem I learned today. I had a chilling moment when I read this article in the New York Times cautioning about the danger posed to young children by the small button lithium batteries that are found in many modern gadgets, including you guessed it, those super cute singing greeting cards. With a nine month old who is cruising around and getting into everything and a three year old who *should* know better, but is still more impulsive toddler most days, I made sure to remove these seemingly innocuous bits of fun from the playroom and started to look around at my gadgets with a sharper eye. I hope you will do the same. They are still wonderful fun, but should be *supervised* fun.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
- I read Alfie Kohn's Unconditional Parenting early on in my first child's life, and I have to admit that while I sorta got what he was saying in theory, I didn't really understand what it would look like in day to day life. Still don't, but working on it. It is undeniable for me however, given my past experiences, that he does make a compelling point that cautions against using parental love and attention as a leverage point in managing your children's behavior. Read more in his recent New York Times health piece.
- If I'm conflicted about spanking, you can believe the thought of a member of the school's personnel being at liberty to hit my kid, with an implement, doesn't sit well with me at all. (That's an understatement) A city in Texas has revived the use of the paddle in school discipline. Again, I have some personnel experience here. I was a straight and narrow, high achieving third grader who once found herself in the Principal's office facing a paddling because another kid lied and said I was talking about a woman's period (why that would be a paddling offense is a whole other story) in the lunch area. Needless to say the old spelling trick to learn how to properly spell "principal," as in "the principal is your 'pal'" most definitely was voided in that moment. Point is should fear ever be employed in a place of learning? What I was taught in that moment, beyond the fact that women's bodies and functions were something to be ashamed of, was that I was subject to a power beyond myself that would harm me regardless of whether or not it was true or not. I toed the line, for sure, but I felt betrayed and learned to keep my thoughts and feelings to myself. Is that the lessons they want to teach?
- Finally, the HuffPo had a really good post about learning to recognize and respond to "the about to moment" and build the ability to stop and more mindfully choose one's response.
- Salon's Broadsheet blog asks the question: "What kind of mom 'returns' her adopted son?" and cites the "extreme challenges adoptive parents can face."
- With clear and sometimes difficult to read honesty, KJ Dell'Antonia writing on Slate confesses, "I Did Not Love My Adopted Child"
- She also speaks further about her experience as an adoptive parent in this NPR interview
- Wonder what this has done to others adopting in Russia? Check out this first hand account, "Living in Russian adoptive limbo," also on Salon's Broadsheet.
- And finally The Daily Beast ran an excellent post, "Adoption's Dirty Secrets"