Thursday, November 15, 2012

Things that make MY kid happy...

Is it still November?  I guess I haven't stayed up with the posting every day thing, but I'm determined not to let that cause me to quit.  I miss writing on a regular basis, so I'm plodding along anyway when the mood strikes.

I can no longer have a conversation that does not include "I saw this thing on Pinterest..."    I'm a hopeless addict, and if I actually crocheted as much or cleaned as much or organized or cooked or sewed or gardened or parented as much as I pin about those things I would be awesome!  insane.

Anyhoo... I read an article today ON THE INTERNET about 10 things to do to make your kid happy... I think if you don't know these things yourself you probably should re-think the whole parenting thing.  But I also realized that some of what this woman wrote would apply to me and my kid, but other things would take more precedence.   So I thought I'd make my own personal list of what makes MY kid happy.  And then I can re-read that when I need some parenting advice.

1.   Getting out of the bath to be dried off and "wrapped up like a burrito" in her towel by me.   I used to fret that she wasn't independent enough  and needed to dress, undress, and dry off by herself.   She does do all of those things by herself, but she is thrilled if I spend the time rolling her up, squeezing her dry, tickling her, and rocking her like a baby.  

2.  Singing her lullabies, especially made up, funny ones.   At 5 years old, she's often got one foot on the independent and "big girl" side of things, and one foot wanting to re-live being a baby.  She loves to hear stories about herself as a tiny baby, see her tiny preemie clothes, hear lullabies I sang to her, and to be picked up and carried to bed.     It's REALLY hard for me to pick her up and carry her to bed, it's never been particularly easy but now at 50 pounds it's almost impossible.

3.  Picking her up even a little bit early from her afterschool program to do something special.

4. Actually, special dates with anyone she loves are a big hit for her.  She is very territorial about her people, as well, I've noticed it with adult friends and certain people from church or around town

5.  She loves to chat up the people in the store,  doesn't matter which store.  One of the nicer things about living in a small town is that she is known by name at the grocery store and the ice cream store and both restaurants.   Not yet by law enforcement, though.  Knock on wood.

6.  When I read to her without expectation of her reading part of the story.  She likes to read, but sometimes she's very clear about wanting ME to read THIS book to her.  I have to temper my excitement about her emerging literacy skills lest I freak her out and miss out on the eventual joy of each of us sitting in our own corners reading our books.

7.  When I tell her a story "from my own imagination".  I don't know where this started, but she asks for it almost every night, and some nights it's hard to come up with a great story, other nights I'm completely impressed with myself.   Last night's story even ended with a rhyme.

8.  Making phone calls on her own.  Her phone skills are slooooowly improving, but she really likes to be given permission to pick up the phone and dial whoever she wants.

9.  Taking pictures:  again, with my phone...sometimes I let her take it away for a while on a "photography expedition" and when she comes back we look at the pictures and she tells me what they are or why she took them.   It gets pretty interesting sometimes.

10.  "Writing" her own songs.  She composes some awesome/awful music, depending on your taste.  Her current hit favorite includes the phrase "My heart is staring at you"  and "yeah yeah" and "baby baby" repeated numerous times with changing inflection and volume.   Frankly, the song creeps me out.   But she loooves to sing and dance for an audience... she wouldn't make it in the pageant world, though, because she does not take feedback or direction well and insists on frequent video taping and review sessions.

So I told her I'd come and get her early today,  I think we'll take advantage of the weather to have a picture taking expedition around the neighborhood.

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"I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time . Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult." --E.B. White