Posts Tagged ‘parenting’


My little boy is generally very healthy. On the few occasions when he catches something, he is only very mildly ill, and is quickly fully better.

Not so, this week.

Yesterday he had a bit of a cold, and tonight he has coughs and sniffles and a low fever. He’s not used to being sick, but he’s weathering it well. I just pulled out the humidifier, and a diffuser with eucalyptus oil to help him breathe better and get some sleep.

This was another good evening to practice just being there, supportive but not dismayed at the challenge he’s facing nor my inability to simply cure it for him. It’s been a long, complicated day of practicing Active Zen at work, but none of that involved my little boy.

He’ll be fine, though, and I think he’s about to finally rest. I will, too.


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This morning, my husband got up very early & woke our 5 year old so they could go outside to see the Planetary Alignment. The sky was clear, and the moon was nearly full behind them. It was a magical experience for my tiny little astronomer to be introduced to the galactic bodies by his dad who’s watched them since he was young.

My son asked me to let them star gaze alone, so when I got up a little later, he was engrossed in a show he likes to watch where little cartoon jets explore the solar system. He was so excited to have seen the planets with his own eyes, all lined up.

I was excited, too. His wonder and happiness reminded me to be mindful of the truly spectacular and valuable experiences: observing the universe around us, appreciating the beauty.

It reminds me to keep my gaze up, and my eyes open.

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I spent most of the evening on a new Super Healthy Cupcake Recipe.

It didn’t go well.

Granted, it didn’t go well mostly because of things I did. I over-filled the cupcake cups. I forgot my vanilla is twice as strong as normal, making the vanilla frosting into VANILLA! (frosting).

My little boy was very excited to be part of the cupcake-making process. (The distraction being part of how I lost track of things like that.) He was very much looking forward to enjoying his favorite treat that we made ourselves.

When I got the results into edible-seeming form, he tried it, then tried it again. He was clearly disappointed, but brushed that off and went back to playing. He had been more excited than I at the project, and then I was more disappointed that it didn’t work out.

He did tell me he wants me to keep trying, and that maybe tomorrow or Saturday we can get it right. I told him I’d tweak the recipe a little and do better next time.

After tucking him in, I still kept feeling disappointed the recipe didn’t turn out quite well. It can probably still be a Mostly Healthy Cupcake Recipe, and maybe I can even get it back to Super after I get the hang of it. But I used to be pretty good at making things like this, so it was getting to me.

Finally, I realized that it’s been a long time since I’ve tried this sort of thing. I don’t have the knack anymore, and it took up most of my evening, but I still gave it a good shot. Plus, I’m not planning to give up over it. As discouraging as my time has been lately, that really means something to me.

So as I try to get ready to sleep, I’m reminding myself to take the experience for what it was: I tried something new. Soon, I’m going to try something new in a better way. And I’ll keep at it as I keep getting better.

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Today, I tried to accomplish a few things. Rather, today I failed to accomplish a few things.

The one thing I accomplished (mostly) well was getting some fresh air, playing with my son.

As I’m wrapping up my day and wondering how I did with it, I’m comforted I at least had my priorities (mostly) straight.

I suppose one of the difficult parts about not getting where you want to go is recognizing what you did well, so you can build on that going forward.

Tomorrow, among other things, I’m going to spend more time with my son.

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I love holidays. I especially love holidays that help me experience especially joyous times for children.

Today, I got to fill plastic eggs with candy and stickers and toys and hide them in the yard for my toddler. I then got to help him find them, particularly one little keychain toy of a character he’s wanted to play with for many months, but I had only just recently found for him. He loves egg hunts, and he especially loved finding this toy.

Today’s holiday is always one of renewal and openness to fresh beginnings. It was especially enlightening to have the pleasure of enjoying it with a child who was ecstatically happy because of one simple, tiny little gift.

Here’s to welcoming the brightness and joy of the little things life brings us, helping us better prepare to receive the big things.

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I’ve realized that Easter is this Sunday, and I’m within the seven days countdown to assessing how well I’ve done with giving up “Separation” for Lent.  Today, I paused to take within myself the experiences of my interactions with numerous people, including a co-worker, my toddler, and my puppy. Not that I can really know what it’s like to think and feel from within their skin, but I imagined what it might feel like.

It’s a fairly enlightening exercise, pretending what it may be like to be somebody else. Trying to imagine the experience of what it would be like to hold different thoughts, different feelings, and even different values-weightings on those thoughts, feelings and experiences. For example, I don’t personally relish the idea of playing with poo, but to my little puppy, it was the most fascinating thing in the world. While I shooed her away from it and cleaned it up, I replaced my disgust with the curious peek into what it may be like to have her senses, and her way of enjoying them.

I’m describing this as a very mental process, but I’ve felt it equally in my mind and my heart. I’ve been working for a long time on how to balance my empathy and desire to understand others with a need to maintain my own boundaries and identity, so this has been a project to learn new ways to strike that balance.

I don’t feel prepared to objectively rate how far I’ve come in the past few weeks. Yet come Sunday, I imagine I’ll have a good idea.

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I’ve sometimes had difficulty sleeping lately. This morning I woke up too early, and couldn’t get back to sleep.

The nice thing about being up early though is when I get to hear my toddler in that time between waking up, and wanting to get out of bed. He sings to himself and plays, and I get to hear what’s on his mind.

It occurs to me I can spend this kind of time each morning listening to my inner child, and find out what’s on her mind.

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We have three adults in the household, and one fussy toddler going through a growth spurt. We like to do things all together or just one or two adults and the toddler, but today is just not a good day for him to have an outing.

This morning, I realized something: only one adult needs to take care of the toddler at a time. If we took turns, we could each have two outings and spend some time with each other without having to keep the toddler happy!

I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before. We had a pretty great day, and I look forward to doing this again sometime soon. I am truly fortunate to have two other people my son can rely on, and making the most of this makes a better time for us all.

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So, yesterday I caught myself in a fleeting moment of competitive parenting. Someone I know whose toddler is slightly older than my toddler mentioned something she’s doing, and I noticed myself begin to wonder if my own toddler was on track for that.

I reminded myself that he’s doing a fantastic job being himself, and moved on. I just don’t have any patience for anyone who starts comparing one child’s development schedule to another’s. And when that child is mine, and I’m the one who’s doing it, there’s just no reason to give that thought any mileage.

I then remembered how I’d done that to myself a couple of times in the past few days, comparing my progress versus another’s. So I figured I’d come here, ‘fess up to it, and give up that sort of nonsense altogether!

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Because yesterday’s post was triggered by a tough time my toddler was having, I want to mention that usually he is a very well-behaved little boy. Yes, when his temper or patience gets pushed past its limits, he’ll have a meltdown. He’s a toddler. But otherwise, he’s usually very polite, with a brightly happy smile for everyone. It’s a joy to share his joy with the world.

Today, I spent as much time enjoying it as possible. I was mommy monkey to his clinging baby monkey, Thomas to his Percy, snack-buddy, and lounge-pillow. Though I wasn’t feeling entirely “on my game”, I put a focus on being “in the game”, present in each moment. I tried to emulate him in putting my attention into what we were doing, moving as quickly to the next bit of fun as he did.

As it turns out, I ended up feeling as though I’d had much more time in the day. I may not have gotten everything done that perhaps I ought, but I had a whole lot more relaxing fun not doing it.

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