Every four years the Olympics proves to the world that it's OK to celebrate the best. It's an achievement. So why, in all other times of the year we, as parents, ensure every child gets a medal? Why does kid competition have to be so fair? Should every kid get a medal?
Last year my daughter was in soccer—her team lost every game. We cheered her on and she happily played. But they lost again and again. Hey, she learnt to try her best, be a good teammate, and play fair. We discussed time and time again...someone has to win a game...unfortunately it just wasn't your team. Not only in sport—but in life...someone is going to have great skills or a better shot... and you need to bring your personal best to the game of life. We taught her this and she got it.
Until trophy day. Every child, on every team, in the league got a medal. Didn't matter if you had won all the games or not-a-one...if you showed up to play...you got a medal. And our lesson on personal best went out the window.
It reminds me of the movie The Incredibles when Dash (the super fast son) wanted to try out for sports and Helen (the super stretchy Mom) wouldn't let him because he would be too good (blowing their super secret of having super powers).
(Credit: The Incredibles)
I kinda agree with Dash—in my own way. If everyone gets a medal—no one is the best.
The Olympics give us permission to celebrate the best. Yay for the gold medalist! Woot for the silver! Well done in bronze! Is this so wrong?
I am not a Mom who wants her child to be the best (um...see soccer story above...there is only personal best here). But I do want my kids to recognize and appreciate those who become the best.
It's OK to celebrate the best...even if it isn't you.
I am writing this as my baby takes his afternoon nap and my big kids youtube Justin Bieber (or it could be One Direction...I don't care really) and instead of folding laundry or supervising tween screen time (and don't think I don't feel guilty about neglecting either of those two jobs)...I am working. Life of the modern working mother...she's sneaks work time during nap time. Same at your house?
I always thought I could balance life/work, and then I realized Supermom Is Dead: I Killed Her. And something has to give. Today it's laundry. And screen supervision (don't worry—I put a ton of parental controls on the computer—plus having a younger sibling is a pretty good parental control system..."Mom...she's watching LMFAO and she's not allowed!"...tattle tales can be a good thing some days).
How do you work with kids in the house?!
(it's an open question people...I'd love to hear how it works/doesn't work for you).
I don't always steal work time. One day I had my kids can make homemade ice cream while I worked. They made the 52 Reasons I Love You Jar while I wrote too. But I'm talking about my big kids doing this. When the baby is awake...well...no work other than parenting.
See, I tried working the other day...to look up and see that the baby had opened the oven door and was climbing in (true story) (and he was ok—the oven wasn't on). After I rushed over to yank him from the oven's cold dark mouth, I turned off my work. There is no balance when a baby is involved. Baby takes priority.
So I suggest you check back to my Summer Fun Project of last year...where I created a fun activity each week for my kids (when I was truly on mat leave and didn't feel the stress to work thus I played).
'Cause this week's activity is keeping young children off inappropriate websites and out of ovens. Apparently I'm failing thus far.
File this under #travel and #kids—this toddler place mat is super easy to make, and light enough to carry in your diaper bag. It will also make finger feeding a little cleaner.
This was inspired by my son, who finger feeds himself. At home, we put his food on the highchair tray and he goes to town feeding himself; however, at restaurants—well, you don't get a highchair tray, and putting a ceramic plate within grabbing distance of an eighteen-month-old is seriously a bad idea (crash!). Call me a germaphobe, but I hated putting his food on bare restaruant tables (eww). So, I invented a toddler place mat, which is incredibly wipeable and lightweight (call me Crafty Mummy).
I went to my local fabric store and asked for a vinyl remnant—a piece of vinyl remaining after the rest has sold—you can find them in clearance bins, or ask a salesperson. The one I purchased was left under a counter, because they didn't know what to do with it. My total bill for the vinyl: under two dollars.
I used a place mat we already had as my template (why make things hard, right?), and cut down the middle of the vinyl, making two place mats.
Then I used pinking shears, because I was cutting while kids were playing around me, and I knew there was no way I was going to be able to cut straight. And the sawtooth effect of pinking shears hides crooked cuts.
Despite using the pinking shears, it was horribly, horribly crooked (Crafty Mummy status lost). So, I had to do a free-hand redo of the cutting.
Thought I would straight sew the backs and fronts of the vinyl together, and then I thought, "Are you nuts? Don't haul out the sewing machine, Caroline!" So, instead broke out . . .
the hot glue gun (you can't help feel Crafty-Mummy-like when you hold a hot glue gun right?).
Under my supervision, I let the big kids glue the inside parts of the vinyl together. (Yes, I involved the children. It was either invite them in on this activity or listen to their "pah-leez, Mummy," a billion more times.)
Glue dry. Place mat made. Easy breezy, no more chicken on the restaurant table, please-y.
My two dollar place mat is folded in my diaper bag, and I have used it again and again at restaurants. I wipe it after each use to keep it clean.
This might not be a big craft to those extreme crafters out there, but for a Mom who travels with a finger food eater, this has made my life a whole lot easier!