One evening at dinner, when my children were particularly whiny and ungrateful, as children have a tendency to do sometimes, I decided to have everyone in the family say what was their favorite part of the day. We went around the table, and if anyone slipped into a complaint or a comparison instead of putting forth a positive thought, they had to start over. And the favorite part of the day cannot involve something that could hurt another’s feelings, such as, “My favorite part of the day was when Sarah left,” because siblings are prone to this type of thing.
In an ideal world, Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner would be a warm, festive experience, where everyone remains sober, no one brings up old family feuds, and children sit with their napkins in their laps and chew with their mouths closed. I wish this kind of Normal Rockwell holiday upon everyone and everyone I know…but I am betting that if you’re like most of us, Aunt Jane will drink too much wine, your kids will last all of 10 minutes before someone has a meltdown or breaks heirloom crystal, and your little sister will accuse you of ruining her life. (Again.)
Today, as I was driving down the street listening to my littlest cackling at the movie she was watching from the back seat (don’t judge me, my moments of peace are few and far between), my mind wandered to the day I met my husband. My first thought was, “I don’t ever want to forget how amazing that day felt.”
How can you forget the first time you gave your baby a bath? Remember those tiny limbs that refused to uncurl, and how scary it felt lowering that little body into the water? It’s hard to believe that one day that very same child will be stealing your shampoo and maybe even your bathrobe—but trust me…sigh. That moment will arrive.
Of course, no child goes from infant tub to shower stall overnight—and the transition can be a messy one…filled with dirty puddles on the floor and more than an occasional unwashed elbow. Here’s how to help your child with this important milestone:
When I decided I wanted to have a third child, I knew I was increasing the monthly budget needed to support ourselves as a family, but I didn’t take into account the side stuff, like birthday parties. Birthday parties have taken on a life of their own around here. I liken them to miniature Oscar parties, complete with swag bags and catered buffet. But I propose a move back to the basics.
I’m all about streamlining the morning get-ready-for-school process. With three kids and a husband who all insist they are absolutely starving the second they get out of bed, I spend time searching for a breakfast that would be easy to prepare and more filing than a bowl of cold cereal. The answer, Bombshells, is organic breakfast bakes.
Being organized is one of those elusive ways of life for me, like being a Zen master or not having a Facebook account. In my constant striving for some semblance of order, I have learned to keep it simple. Whoever said “less is more” actually knew what they were talking about. When you have less stuff, it’s easier to keep track of it; that’s a given. But where do you cut back and what do you leave out?
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