21 August 2016

A Child's Uses for Mom or Dad

When my children were little, I do mean little...aged 2, 3, 4, I noticed that they don't look at you as a mom or a dad, they throw things at you or demand things from you. My mother-in-law used to say that babies and toddlers are very ego centered. They are all about themselves and I had three at the same time. This kept me very busy. I had to teach them to stay close to me, hold my hand or a sister's hand when we were crossing streets or walking in parking lots. I had to let them know that they had to do what I said, for instance, get ready to go when I say so. But I also noticed that we would go somewhere and they would take off their coats and throw them at me, here mom, hold this for me. Here, hold this for me. Mom, where is my cup? So I started compiling a list of things that my children viewed my husband and I as. It was interesting how things have stayed the same and how they have changed.

First on my list was activity planner. I would plan things for them to do or places to go. My husband to this day asks, what is on the schedule today.

2. My cousin showed me this one, she was sitting on the floor and her daughter was using her as an arm rest. It is funny, but sometimes those children just want to be close, but they also want to lean on us.

3. Bank. I noticed as the girls got older they started asking for more money. Money to go on a field trip, money for something from school, money to go with a Bible Study group. We became the girls bank.

4. Bathroom Walker. When your child is learning to potty train and for some time after you may have to walk them to the bathroom so they don't have accidents in their beds.

5. Beautician. When you have girls you get to fix their hair.When they are young, you are washing, brushing and styling their hair. When they get older, they will wash it themselves, but there are times where they want it styled and then you are back to work.

6. Bed. When your children are little, they will sometimes need to be held and sometimes they are laying across you and fall asleep. You have just become their bed.

7. With the bed, comes the pillow. Sometimes they will just want to cuddle up next to you and they will lay their head on your leg, you have just become a pillow.

8. When your kids need medical care or are going to school, you become their advocate. You fight for the care they need or for the special care they need. Don't be afraid to go toe to toe for the care.

9. Bug Catcher. Yep, when a bug comes near, you will be catching the bugs. Sometimes to help them learn about the bug, but other times because they are scared and you need to get it out of their area.

10. Bug Killer. Yep, there are times where you are just going to have to kill that bug. Catching it is just not going to happen. It needs to die!

11. Butler. Yep, there are times where dads become their child's butler.

12. Calendar. I can't count how many times I heard, "Mom, what day is it?" or "Mom, what are we doing today?"

13. Car Rental. Yep, there will come a time where you will have to rent a car for your kid. A way to get them somewhere because the usual transportation is not available.

14. Chaperone. I have gone on many field trips with the girls and their classes. I have gone on many trips with the Girl Scouts. It is a lot of fun to hang out with all these kids.

15. Coat Rack. When my girls were little, every time we walked into a place (restaurant, museum, etc) they would take off their coats and then hand them to me.

16. Cheer Leader. Yep, we cheer for our children. We encourage them to do their best.

17. Coach. We coach them to practice and get better at the thing they really like to do. For instance, my one daughter loves to knit. I encourage that and I coach her on new techniques.

18. Cup/Bottle Holder. When they were little, they would take a drink and then hand me their cups (bottles) and then walk away.

19. Day Planner. Moms (and sometimes Dads) plan days for the children. We take them places and get them to appointments.

20. Disciplinarian. When a child does something they are not supposed to do, we have to discipline the child, gently enough to not destroy them, but harsh enough that they won't do that again. It is a fine line and one that often is hard to walk. Don't be afraid to apologize to your child when you screw up and admit, "Hey, I made a mistake and I am sorry." It teaches them to step up and take the blame that they need to accept.

21. Dish Washer. I do a lot of dishes! A lot of dishes. I wash breakfast dishes, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snacks, supper, evening snacks. Then I collect all the dishes that didn't make it to the sink in all the previous washings and wash those, too.

22. Easy Chair. This is the one that I miss. When they are little, a child will sit on their mom or dad and get comfy. They enjoy the cuddles and the loving and sometimes they will get comfy enough to fall asleep.

23. Entertainment Center. When kids are little they expect their parents to entertain them and often we do.

24. Executioner. I mentioned bugs earlier, we kill those pesky bugs. Another way to look at this is we are the one who dishes out the punishment on our wayward progeny, if we don't want them to grow up and have to have law enforcement do that job.

25. Gift Wrapper. I cannot tell you how many times I have wrapped presents to the kids, from the kids, for parties, for holidays, birthdays. We become very good at wrapping and can do this very quickly.

26. Gym. This goes with entertainment center...the kids climb on us like we are monkey bars. They roll over us and hang on us.

27. Partner/Teacher. I am the girls education partner and their teacher. This started when they were little. I taught them to talk, to walk, to love and pray. I taught them to read and when they started going to school, I helped them with their homework, checking their work and then helping them to get it done on time. Teaching them to mind their time.

28. Hat Maker. When my youngest was 2, I learned how to knit. I started making hats for the girls. I love making hats. I would let them choose the yarn and and then make them a scarf and hat set. Every year a new set.

29. Home Work Checker. When kids are in school, we need to help them with their school work. Just because they spend time at school doesn't mean they are learning it all there. Sometimes they need us, their parents, to help them. We can take the time to learn something and help them remember. We can cater to their learning styles, something teachers would love to do, but cannot do.

30. Horse Ride. When my girls were little they would jump on their dad's back and he would crawl all over the floor with them on his back. He had biggest smile and so did they. This is great bonding time and they love to be with each other.

31. Housekeeper. Kids do not appreciate a clean house. Just doesn't happen. I like a clean house, but they don't, so I frequently don't clean it as well as I would like, but at the same time, the house is clean. They have been learning how to clean a house and they know that there are times where this activity has to happen. I don't do it every day like my mother did, but we do it as a family.

32. Hugs and Kisses. Kids need lots of love. They need lots of hugs, lots of kisses and lots of time. But we need to remember to also provide guidance and rules.

33. Jailer. When a child does something wrong we have to put a punishment in place and then follow through...we become their jailer.

34. Judge. We put the punishment in place for wrong doing.

35. Jury. We have to decide who is guilty of wrong doing, especially when there is more than one child.

36. Laundress. Laundry is a daily activity in my house. When they were tiny and in diapers, they had many outfit changes. As they got older, they would still need clothing washed and now, it is still a daily activity. I love my large capacity washer....I can get by with 2 loads a day, but it is daily. I encourage the kids to help with moving it up and down the stairs and folding and putting away. They do it their own way.

37. Library Runner. We go to the library once a week. We borrow, return and borrow more. Libraries are great places to borrow books, be with others who like same things and also to learn new things. Check yours out now.

38. Life Guard. When my girls were little we started them swimming as soon as possible. This allowed them to spend lots of time in water. We are their life guard as the pools and lakes have often not had life guards.

39. Life preserver. There have been times that we were the ones who would keep the kids up when they were in the water over their heads.

40. Maid. I spent a lot of time picking up after the kids (and still do) when they were little. Now, I have the expectation that they help with picking up.

41. Masseuse. The girls love to have their backs rubbed and will sit next to anyone who will rub their backs. I should specify, parents. They are not too trusting of strangers (we got that right).

42. Mr. and Mrs. Fix It. When a toy would break, we would be brought the toy and we would fix it. Sometimes it would be easy fix, just new batteries, sometimes it was a little more.

43. Nurse. I got really good at fixing scrapes and bumps. I became their own personal nurse.

44. Pack Mule. I have hauled a lot of things with me when we would go out. When they were little, I would need diapers, wipes, extra clothes, blankets, toys, etc. It always amazed me at how much I had to carry.

45. Party Planner. When your children are little, you would have to plan parties for the children for their birthdays.

46. Personal Chef. When a child is sick, you make a special meal. When they have mouth hardware, special meals, birthdays, etc. Sometimes I would have to make 3 different meals to get them all to eat.

47. Personal Dresser. When children are little, you dress them. When they are babies, you can put them in anything you want and they look adorable. When they get a little older, they start expressing what they like and don't like. You begin to teach them how to dress themselves, but still there are times where you have to tell them what they are going to wear.

48. Personal Entomologist. I cannot begin to count the times I had to tell them what a bug was, and if it was a boy bug or a girl bug. Thankfully, on FB, there is a group called Antman's Hill and he helps and it is a great resource.

49. Personal Grocery Shopper. This is where they request a special food and I go shopping for that. (This is usually for special events, like their birthday).

50. Personal PC. This gets less as computers and tablets and phones become more a part of their world.

51. Personal Shopper. This is where I am told, "Mom, I need...." and I then go out and buy it. This would happen more after they were in school and still too young to go on their own.

52. Personal Zookeeper. We have had 6 cats, 1 dog, many fish and there is a request for a snake.

53. Photographer. I love this. I love documenting things we do and places we go, this will be for the girls when they are grown up and can look back on their life.

54. Photographic Subject. I bought them cameras and they would pose me or their dad. They learned how to take pictures. This is an ongoing thing, but adds to their memories.

55. Referee. I often have to break up a disagreement, but those are few and they work many things out on their own.

56. Scarf Maker. This goes along with the Hat Maker. A new one every year.

57. School Bus Driver. This happened when they started to school. I would drive them to preschool and pick them up. After they were eligible for bus routes, I would meet them outside, but every now and then I would have to drive them back and forth.

58. Scout Leader. Another activity I loved. I had to stop when my mil had a stroke and I had to take girls back and forth to see her on Fridays. This is a wonderful opportunity to teach young ladies and help them to become better people. Also, spend time loving children who need just a little more.

59. Scrunchie Maker. This is an item that will hold back long hair.

60. Secretary. When they were much younger (before they could write), I would have to help them write thank you cards. They could write their names when they were in pre-school and slowly got better every year.

61. Snot Rag. Has anyone ever had a crying child, sniffling on their shoulder? I have. Many things caused them to cry and when that happened, the snot flowed and I often had snot on my shirts. I changed clothes many times. At some point, I got tired of wearing nice clothes to have them ruined by the children, so I just wore what was comfortable.

62. Story Teller. Kids love to hear stories. Stories about when you were young or books that you are reading to them or even stories you make up with them.

63. Surgeon to stuffed toys. This kind of goes with Mrs. Fix-It, but I often sewed up toys. At some point the girls started trying to do this on their own.

64. Swim Instructor. This would pair up with Life Guard. Many life guards I know are also swim instructors. We teach our children how to swim, how to float and how to be safe in the water.

65. Taxi Driver. "Mom, take me...." When they were little it was more take me to McDonald's (playlands were the best), as they grew it was the zoo, museums, and now libraries. My middle daughter comes up and says, "Mom, please sign me up for.... at the library." Then, she reminds me, "Mom, don't forget to take me to.....at the library."

66. Teacher. We are our child's first teacher. Teachers come and go, but we will always be the first. Some of us continue to be their teacher, by homeschooling. Do I say that this is the best? No, I say that it happens and we all have our reasons for doing it. Some children do best in homeschooling, some do best with others as their teachers. You should always do the best for your child and only YOU know what is best.

67. Team Mate. I cannot tell you how many times we have played games together and I have been a team mate for one of the girls. I have 3 so when we play a game that pairs, I am a partner to one of them.

68. Time Keeper. Sometimes you do an activity where everyone has to have a turn and you have to time keep to make sure they all get the same amount of time.

69. Tour Guide. I have taken the girls to places and shown them around and taught them about the place. I do a lot of research before we go, so that I can teach them as we go.

70. Towel Boy/Girl. This falls in the Coat Rack. We go somewhere with water and my girls toss their towels at me or they ask me to hand them their towels.

71. Toy Maker. I have made many toys for my girls. Recently, I had them go through their stuff and get rid of things. Even though they haven't played with it for awhile (they grow their likes and dislikes change) they refuse to get rid of the toys I made them.

72. Trampoline. When they were little, they would jump on my legs like I was their own personal trampoline.

73. Water Girl/Boy. This is when they are in bed and are thirsty and need a drink, or they are playing a game and they forgot their drink.

I know that as they grow and move into new stages of their life, they will assume some of these roles and I will get new ones. I look forward to my new parts in life.

05 August 2016

A Quiet Friday Night

Friday night, my girls were at a lock in at one of our libraries. They had been anticipating this event for the whole month of July. My husband had to work that night and my kids gone for 6 hours, I was alone with just the cats and the dog. It was just us. The animals paced around for about an hour searching for the girls. They just couldn't figure it out, then they came and sat with me in the Family Room/Classroom. I was able to sit and listen to a book on tape (they can be borrowed online and played on phones or tablets or whatever you put the app) and knit. I worked on big things that I hadn't worked on for some time. I enjoyed the silence and the time alone. Time that meant I didn't have to be available to anyone, but the animals. They sat on me, near me and they all got along. I was able to be me, not mom, not wife, just me. To many that may seem harsh, but when you are mom or wife all the time, you need that little bit of time where you can be silent and listen to God. It was a nice evening. I didn't even get onto the internet.

When my girls were little, they wouldn't sleep, they fought sleep all the time and I told them constantly, we are boring and they could go to sleep and nothing would happen. That is basically what I do I enjoy the silence. For the first time in a long time, I didn't feel alone, but I was alone.

What a great way to get ready for the new school year. School will be starting for many on August 11th. I will be starting my girls then, too. We have so many things planned already for this school year.

Painted Desert Sunset Afghan
Granny Square Afghan - This is listed as a Granny, but is different than the ones I used to make all the time, so I want to make some and see what happens.
Traditional Cable Knit Afghan - The picture shown with this pattern is all white, but the cables are very pretty.
Lego Block Afghan
Checkers Game Afghan - it is actually suggested for use as a picnic blanket
Country Star Afghan - This is such a beautiful piece of art and I would love to have a few of these in different colors for my girls.
Comforting Kitty Afghan
Prairie Star Crochet Afghan
Colorful Chevron Afghan

Crochet Book Bag - this would be good for my girls. They love to read and they carry books with them everywhere.

Dish Cloths/Kitchen:
Blooming Flower Dishcloth

Geometric Designs:
Crochet Squares Curtains
Geometric Crochet Afghan
Old Maid's Puzzle
Hexagon Motif

Kimberly Mitts - These are very pretty cabled, fingerless mittens.
Zimtstern Mitts - these are fingerless mitts and they are knit different from other ways that I have made mitts. This is a challenge piece.

Freddy the Froggy
Bearies - when I first looked at these, I thought of this food that my cousin ate when she was in China for a business trip. She took a picture and I thought it was pretty cute.