Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bite-Sized Blog: On the Go Go Go Go.

The Future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.  ~C.S. Lewis
We are only two weeks into the New Year and I feel like we've been in fast-forward ever since the ball dropped. Yesterday morning I spent nearly three hours in the pediatric dentist's office with my big guy.  And I feel the need to stop right here and say there is a special, special place in my heart for these people. I'm convinced pediatric dentists and their aids are performing earthly purgatory or required penance.  
{I pause to applaud you here.}

Besides the dental visits, we have simply been on the move so much, I feel like I haven't spent as much time face to face with my kids. Whether sitting and talking with them, reading or playing—I have missed our slower moments together and I am hoping to modify our current schedule with much more down time very soon. I'm having a really hard time keeping them little.

So, I am going to keep this quick, but we don't want you to think we've completely forgotten about the world of blog-dom! We have lots of fun activities and plans coming up in the next few months, and as long as we survive trips to the pediatric dentist, we can't wait to share them with you.

Even in the middle of life at full throttle, I was reminded today that we can create special moments while errand-running and carpooling.  Here are a few simple thoughts if you are feeling stressed about being on the go and want to make the most of your time! 

Look Around, Be Creative.
It's amazing what happens when you encourage your kids to observe what's going on outside the car windows (or shopping cart). It's very easy to take a simple game of “I Spy” to the next level while driving in town.  Come up with a counting or matching game if you are stuck in traffic, or help kids admire big buildings and construction equipment. Once you look up and out—there are many things to see!  This is also a great way to encourage conversations about the amazing created world in which we live.  Check out contrasting colors in the earth and sky, etc.

Promote Interaction, Create Stories.
I have always enjoyed creating stories, so this is a timeless game for me. Once you take a moment to look around you, encourage your kids to come up with stories about what they see while they are on the move. 
For example: Yesterday we saw 2 really filthy semi-trucks beside us on the highway. The kids and I came up with many ideas about how the trucks became so dirty, where they had been and where they were going.  My big guy noticed 2 clean stripes on the side and it was fun listening to him hypothesize about this mystery.

Encourage your kids to be creative! This also helps them start realizing the world is bigger than their own house and street—many license plates tell us the other cars on the road are from very far away. What is their story? This can easily be applied to a trip to the mall or Target as well. Who do you see? What are they doing?
If you want to take this to the next level, here is a printable for your child's All About Me book (go HERE to start one today).  Continue talking about your adventures at home. Have your child write or draw a story here.  It might turn into wonderful essay material down the road--you never know!  
Go here to print this:

Give a little, Get a lot.
This is a principle we need to remember in parenting as much as possible, but especially when life gets busy. If I give up control of the music playing in our car, the reward of happy, LOUD singing from the back seat is always worth it.

I recently noticed a kindred thread between two of my sweet friends: holey jeans.
As I think about the attitude and examples these ladies have shown me, I have much to learn.  Am I the type of mom who has chased on hands and knees and given piggy-back rides enough to warrant holes in the knees of my jeans? Whether or not you consider yourself a hands-on mom who gets on the floor with the kids, an ounce of interaction (on the floor or on the couch) will always be rewarded in the eyes of your child. In my opinion, holey jeans are a sign of a very blessed mom with very blessed kids. Patch up those jeans, stretch your legs and be interactive—it is always worth it.

For now, it's time for me to take a few deep breaths and get back in the fast lane. The laughing gas has worn off and it's time to lick our wounds with some tasty treats:  non-sugary, dentist-approved of course!

You will never find time for anything.  If you want time you must make it.
~Charles Buxton

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