Anyone who cares/has cared for children in any way shape or form knows how wonderful they are ... and how utterly exhausting they are. Over the past couple of weeks, I have chosen to focus solely on how wonderful they are and how much energy they give you. A great day with children, is a phenomenally wonderful super fantastic day. Children are inspiring, amazing and they give you so much energy. So, screw exhaustion, here is how I spent the last week focusing on just the good parts of what I do...
First I stopped stressing about silly meal and activity planning. Thanks to a great workshop I attended, I realized that it is very, very, very, very important for children to be a part of the meal planning/creating process. I now do all the cooking in front of them. I do it all at their level so they can come help out, ask questions, and taste test all the ingredients. As an extra bonus to me, I don't have to get up an hour early to get everything ready.
Activity wise, I get tons of ideas for activities all the time but then get annoyed because I never actually do them. Now, I just grab all the stuff I need when I get the idea and plunk it in a box. Then, when the kids are here and the mood strikes, I grab every thing out of there and viola, instant party time. I also stopped trying to plan the 'child-centered', and 'developmentally appropriate' activities that we learn about in college and instead focus on what excites them the most at any given moment. I started a little ritual to help me with this; first thing in the morning, I put out some tea and a plate of fruit on the coffee table. I plunk my butt down on the couch and very shortly after, they are all hovered around chatting and clearing the fruit plate; sometimes they actually drink the tea. At some point I'll ask them, "if you could do anything in the whole world right now what would it be?" They never have to think about it -- "go to the playground!" ..."paint!" ... "I want to dance!" ... "the trampoline!" -- And that's how we start our day. I still have activities set up throughout the room for them to go to at their leisure, but I have finally learned how to go with the flow and wow, what a difference! Just as I had expected, they play harder, they're happier, and I have so much gosh darn energy left at the end of the week!
Here she is helping me bake...
On this day they were making 'mail'
Thanks Granny for the stamps! Funny thing,
the mail arrived as they were writing letters, I
had them open the mail and... stamps! Are you
kidding me!? Awesome!