Posted in Kids & Parents

Kids & Parents

Read to Connect: 1KB4K and Patch Club

We all know that the brains of young children are primed to notice everything.

I was reminded of this one day when my (then) 3-year old child, eyebrows furrowed, tapped me on the hip until I turned the vacuum off.

3-year-old: “Who’s coming ovah?” (I miss those days of r-less speech!)

Me:  “What do you mean?”

3-year-old: “Well, you’he vacuuming.”  

Me (sputtering indignantly): “I do vacuum other times, you know.”

My inner voice: "Sometimes. Not very often. Oh no. He's probably right."

Me (reluctant sigh):  “Grandma will be here in half an hour.”

In case you were wondering, 3-year-olds do self-satisfied smiles quite well. 

So I had unintentionally created an association that “vacuuming = guests coming over.”

Could be worse, right?*

Continue Reading "Read to Connect: 1KB4K and Patch Club"

Kids & Parents

Saying “Yes, And” to Storytime

I did theater for a long time. Twenty-three musicals a long time.

So, when I started working in the youth services department, I didn’t think that storytimes wouldn’t be too much of a stretch. 

I had experience singing, dancing, and storytelling in front of crowds of people, so why would 20-some children and their caregivers be any different?

But I was wrong. 

What I quickly learned was, storytime isn’t theater, it's improv.

Continue Reading "Saying “Yes, And” to Storytime"

Kids & Parents

Board Books: Your Baby’s Start to a Love of Reading

I vividly remember one morning during my maternity leave.

I had been up for hours already, we had already played with different toys and done tummy time, and we had just watched Dad leave for work.

I turned to my baby and said "What are we going to do for the rest of the day?"

My kiddo loves to pull down all the books.

It was 7 AM.

We read. We read a lot those first few months.

I read board books, picture books, poems from Where the Sidewalk Ends (I've always been fond of this one). One day I left for work while Grandpa was reading aloud from The Wall Street Journal (hey, we all have our go-to favorites).

Continue Reading "Board Books: Your Baby’s Start to a Love of Reading"

Kids & Parents

The Very Hungry Mother

I love spending time with my kids, but in the words of Ralph Covert, “I need, and I need a lot of what I need...that’s C-O-F-F-E-E.”

I admit it: Whether it’s coffee, chocolate, or both, I depend on food to boost my mood and help me through the long summer days.  

My strategy of choice is to make a pan of brownies and then sneak morsels here and there.

Sure, it’s embarrassing when my kids call me out: “Mommy, why do you smell like chocolate?” – but I bravely work through the shame:

"Mommy just needed a little something - now you finish your strawberry yogurt smoothie!"

Some people ground themselves via mindfulness or exercise or gardening. I have sugar.

Oh – and books. You know that hour between the park and dinner when your kids not so much melt down but catch fire and burn everything in their path?

At that point, I read to my kids.  Getting lost in pictures and stories and whole other worlds transports me and my kids back to the green zone.  

Technically, books may be highly flammable, but in my house, storytime puts out fires better than anything else I know. 

Continue Reading "The Very Hungry Mother"