All posts filed under: Adventures in Parenting

summer

Summertime

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.” – Charles Bowden I can’t remember enjoying a summer this much since I was a kid basking in the break from school.  There was a time in childhood when summer seemed to last forever, but as I got older, the impending start of the new school year seemed to approach faster and loom heavier on the horizon.  Now I have no worries about school and, at least for a few more years, neither does my son.  For now, we just get to savor the joys of heading out to the park, making the most of longer days and later bedtimes. Most of the time, our son just runs around.  Literally.  Sometimes in circles.  Sometimes to a destination that only he knows.  Sometimes he makes use of a soccer ball or other toy.  Eventually, we find our way to the playground.  It’s so much fun to watch him expend all that energy and remember what it was like to be a child.  And on the best days, …

It’s a blur

“There is no such thing as perpetual tranquility of mind while we live here; because life itself is but motion, and can never be without desire, nor without fear, no more than without sense.” – Thomas Hobbes There’s nothing more rewarding as a parent than watching my son grow. And even though everyone warned me, I didn’t expect that it would happen so fast. Somehow, in watching other people parent, things seem to happen more slowly. Maybe because I don’t witness the daily developments that turn into bigger milestones. When people ask how my son is doing, I feel like I say the same things month after month. “Oh, he’s running/climbing all over.” Or, “He’s using more words now.” It’s difficult to convey what these cursory reports really mean to us. And likely people don’t really want to hear all the details of how my son mastered a piece of playground equipment that he’s been attempting for weeks. 🙂 It’s hard to explain how special it feels to hear your toddler put a string of words together …

childhood, play, toys

Facing Pinterest guilt

“No work or love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.” – Alan Watts I often remind myself that I can do anything (well, pretty much anything), but not everything. This mantra comes in handy when I start to worry about all those things parents worry about. Is my son getting all the nutrients he needs in his diet? I should make more homemade meals and snacks for him. Is he stimulated appropriately at playtime? I should build him a sensory table and work in more Montessori practices. Is that Meghan Trainor he’s dancing to? I should play more classical music. This internal dialogue could go on and on. In fact, I’m sure that if my son were eating homemade carrot chips while playing at his sensory table and listening to Bach, I would just think of something else I could do.  And if I’m really honest, I would say something else …

Reading to my 1-year-old

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” – W.B. Yeats I experienced a minor parenting realization recently.  I was slightly afraid that my 1-year-old might not like to read.  It turns out, his reading materials just aren’t age appropriate.  This should have been apparent to me when I was reading him One Fish, Two Fish.  (Crazy long for a kids book and a bit weird to boot.) We have an assortment of books that seem guaranteed to entertain, but without guidance, he prefers chewing on them to flipping through them.  (Cardboard books are great for teething if you don’t mind your kid eating paper.) Thankfully, my concern didn’t last long.  While researching education methods (relating to a separate concern arising from all the Common Core buzz lately), I discovered that 1-year-olds maybe aren’t that interested in detailed stories and that On the Night You Were Born was probably written more for me, or at least for a bit older audience.  (I can’t help but hope he’ll enjoy Tillman’s books eventually though.)  I learned it’s okay …

First-time parent discoveries

“Life must be lived as play.” – Plato We discovered Jones Point Park in Alexandria a few weeks ago and entered the world of tot lots.  I’ve discovered all sorts of things I never knew existed before having a kid. Often, it’s mundane things like coping with the seeming barrage of sick days. People told me kids get sick a lot. They didn’t tell me that my husband and I would get sick a lot too. Hello, Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. Another eye-opener was finding a way to discreetly excuse myself to pump while travelling for work (and joining legions of nursing moms who’ve resorted to airport/conference hall/restaurant bathrooms).  I always wonder if anyone has had security called in for a suspicious “wheh, whon, wheh, whon” noise in the ladies restroom.  (Yay, California for progress in that area, at least in airports.) I discover lots of fun stuff too. Like tot lots.  Until my son became mobile, we didn’t have much need for kid-specific entertainment outside the home.  (Grocery shopping can be a surprisingly rich …