Monday, February 28, 2011

Best Mom Tip #121: Look at the world around you

Last week while I was driving with my two year old we had the following conversation:

Griffin: My see cwouds. Yots uh cwouds. (I see clouds. Lots of clouds.)
Me: You see clouds? They're pretty aren't they?
Griffin: My wan' tuss dem. (I want to touch them).
Me: You can't touch them, they're too high.
Griffin: My can' weech. Weeeeeeeeeech. (I can't reach. Reeeeeeeaaaaaach.)

He tried very hard to reach his little hand out the rolled up car window to touch the clouds and I thought about how I NEVER try to touch clouds any more. I now know that it is impossible, of course, but why not try? At the very least I would get in a good stretch. At the very most, I might become inspired to metaphorically reach for the clouds and figure out what I'm supposed to be doing with my life. That might be asking a bit much out of the clouds.

Since that little drive I've been trying to listen and look at the world around me more. The trees are still beautiful even without their leaves. The frogs that create a giant chorus in the marsh behind my house are comforting. The coming rain smells clean and fresh even while my knee aches because the barometer has dropped.

Granted, really looking at the world can backfire some. At a scenic overlook over the weekend I saw two men wearing work boots sharing an amorous embrace behind what they thought was a solid row of bushes. That was a bit more scenery than I was bargaining for.

However, even that sight reminded me that there is more to this life than I often see. Look around, people. It's an interesting world out there.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Best Mom Tip #120: Play fetch

You know, play fetch with your kids. I don't actually own a dog. My son has decided that he is a puppy and he keeps bringing me things for him to fetch. I throw a ball, he pants and crawls off to go retrieve it in his mouth. He insists that I pet him and tell him he's a good dog.

I have mixed emotions about this game. One the one hand, it is somewhat dehumanizing, it makes me feel oddly lazy, and I would be embarrassed for other people to see me treating my kid like a dog.

On the other hand, he really likes it, it gives him something to do that uses up his energy, and I can play the game with one hand while still sitting down. These are all very important in my book.

Also, it usually prevents me from having to say things like "the baby is NOT part of your obstacle course!" That comment came after Griffin decided to jump over his 7-month-old brother Evil Knievel-style. He cleared the baby, but still.

This is not a game I have found in "Games for Increasing Your Child's IQ" or even "Games that Won't Get You Investigated by DFCS," but I think we'll stick with it. At least I can be sure he's not hot wiring the car if he's busy playing fetch.