Inevitably, we get sick around here. More often than not, it’s me, but sometimes the kids get sick, too. And when they do, we are certain to buckle down on what we put into our bodies. Always we stick to the BRAT diet, but I have made it a plural “BRATS” and added on my own sickie must-have.
S: Soup. Duh.
Have you heard of the BRAT diet? Does it bring you a faster recovery as well?
Hoping your Monday is a healthy one!
Monday mornings are slow around here. And why shouldn’t they be? When you’re two, what’s the rush? So, enjoy your Monday and slooowww down– way down, just like we do. It’s easy, you’ll see! Just follow these simple Monday morning rules.
1. Pajama time. This can last, well… all day. Why get dressed when you aren’t going anywhere?
2. Make fruit popsicles. We like to make our own popsicles to snack on. Whether it’s leftovers from our smoothies or our favorite juice, we are sure to make popsicles on Mondays so we are prepared for the week. The best thing about making your own popsicles is that you can control what sugar does or rather doesn’t get put into them!
3. Lounge as long as possible. Monday mornings, I get my kitchen chores done quickly! Then I plop it on the couch or floor with my coffee. I love sitting eye level with the kids for hours! The world is so great from their viewpoint, and you can only get that prespective when you take the time to sit down & slow down.
4. Look out the windows. When it’s too cold to play outside, we look out the windows a lot. We’re like old ladies, if you want to know the truth. We check out what the neighbors are doing. We discuss what color the cars are driving by. We tell people to drive slowly, please! This is a neighborhood, jeesh! We talk about the weather– just where could the sun be!? We make up stories about squirrels. We brainstorm about what we will do in the summer! There are a lot of things outside your window you don’t even notice until you use your imagination.
5. Do the laundry. Yes, we do the laundry for fun. Okay, they do the laundry for fun! I do the laundry because it’s my job. But you will find that two years olds are very helpful when it comes to this chore. Didn’t you know? It’s very fun to throw dirty clothes in the washing machine. Then, when the laundry is finished in the dryer, they lay on the floor and I throw it on top of them. Nothing better than warm laundry to heat things up on winter mornings.
Take a minute to slow down this morning! Afterall, as the toddlers have taught me, it’s best not to rush through life, otherwise you miss you all the fun things.
I firmly believe that a child’s ability to imagine sets them apart from adults.
This difference is beautiful and intriguing. And okay, if we’re being honest, sometimes this difference is hilarious, really hilarious. I mean, aren’t we all enthralled when we watch the little chickadees travel to England on a purple dinosaur to battle eleven flying monkeys by throwing waffles? (you can’t make that up, you just can’t!)
But this difference is also irreversible. And, once a child loses his imagination they in turn lose their innocence. Sadly, however, the ability to imagine is fleeting. So, we must harvest it in our little ones while we can. We must encourage it and embrace it, egg it on more than we think is necessary. We must do everything in our power as caregivers to stretch its growing season as long as we can.
So what do you do to harness your child’s imagination?
When I was living in Georgia, the girls had a dinosaur (*he lived in the backyard and to us adults he bore a strong resemblance to a fallen tree*). Bold and exotic, yet surprisingly friendly he would offer his scaly back for afternoons of climbing and adventure. Together they would ride to unknown lands until dinner was served. The dinosaur was a confidant for the girls. He allowed them to escape reality and challenge their minds. He allowed them to play, and he didn’t ask any questions. He was a welcomed member of the family, a talked about character at the dinner table, a sought refuge on boring afternoons. And years later, he is missed everyday. But more importantly, he is remembered, always.
I challenge you to look around for your children– to find a dinosaur for your own family. They’re out there, you know? You just have to use the eye of a child to find them.
Does your little chickadee have their own chickadee? A doll or a stuffed animal that they just can’t leave behind?
When I lived in Atlanta, the littlest one I watched certainly did. In fact, we were extra blessed because she happened to have twins: Charlie and Shelly. And they were quite the busy pair! Always wanting to eat ice cream and go places, always getting toys out and not taking care of them, always needing us to take extra care of them so they would stay out of trouble. Yes, Charlie and Shelly were quite the handful!
One day, my little chickadee came downstairs and announced that it was Charlie and Shelly’s birthday! And didn’t I feel foolish for not knowing! After all that time together, surely I should have marked it on my calendar.
“Well when is their birthday party?” I asked.
“TODAY!” she told me, “so we had better get to work!”
And so we did!
First, we made a picture list of everything we had to do. (Do you make picture lists with your little ones? They’re pretty simple. It’s just like a regular to-do list, only with pictures of your goals instead of words. This way, anyone can follow it- even the littlest chicks who can’t read. yet)
Next, we made decorations. We called our friends down the street. We made birthday hats. We gave the twins an extra nap so they would be on their best behavior. And then, we got to work making cupcakes, because what is a birthday party without cupcakes!
It didn’t imagine the whole neighborhood would show up. But everyone did. And everyone had fun! And to this day, it is still one of the best parties I’ve ever been to!
When you’re working with children there are moments of panic, of terror, of absolute fear, that life is moving too quickly! And you want the time to S.T.O.P. You want today to be forever. You want your little birdies always close to you, snuggling, and smiling.
These are the sweet days of life. And they have to be cherished. You only get 365 days of being with a two-year old. So soak them in.
As we watch them grow, we come to understand that these babies, these toddlers- they are growing into people, into the next generation. Someday, they will be taking care us. So let us love them now so they can love later.
The hardest part of it all, is that we come to understand the depth of the “bitter” in “bittersweet”. But instead of focusing on the bitter, we must lean into the sweet. Because these truly are the sweet days and let’s live them to the fullest before they pass.
This song always reminds me of love and childhood. For me, these lyrics are the ringing anthem for two year-olds everywhere.