Me and my favorite 3 year old. I think I told him to look “skeptical”. It appears that neither of us knows what that looks like.
I asked for goal ideas in my last post and Carolyn had the winner: to get my Christmas shopping done this month. When I read that one I got all excited and it felt like finding “the one”. Like that first date with my now-husband. Like eating cookie butter for the first time. Like a new haircut that looks awesome. It was just right.
So- game on for that! I know my female family members read this here blog, so I will not be sharing their gifts on here (except maybe with a link, which they can click or not click on… hmm…) but I’ll tell you what I get for everyone else as I do it.
I already know what I’ll do for the nieces in my family, of which there are five. I’m getting playsilks and we’ll dye them when we are together. I started seeing these on crunchy-parent blogs years ago and parents say they have staying power because they can be anything. A blanket for a doll, dress-up accessory, fort-maker, etc. I might put a command hook on the ceiling above Chicken’s bed and let her hang one as a sort of canopy. Or if we ever get around to putting bunk beds in the kids’ room they could hang them down for their own private bunk space. I think I’ll get them in scarf-size for my older nieces, so they can wear them if they like how the dye turned out. That might go over better for the 10 and older set.
Mostly, I like the hands-on gifts with my nieces and nephews. I’ve had good success with bouncy balls, shrinky dinks, and sunprints. We also made flubber a couple of years ago, which is just the gift that keeps on giving. And if they lose interest in the object a day later, it is fine with me. It is mostly fun to just make something with them.
Moving on from Christmas ideas…
If you are a fan of Love and Logicyou will be familiar with the idea of getting your kids to do chores as a consequence for whining. And my 3 year old is in a top-notch whining stage. (I dare any 3 year old in a five mile radius to go head-to-head in a whining contest. He will take you down). Love and Logic advises that parents have kids do chores to replace the energy that their whining drained out of the poor, worn-down, parent. You’re supposed to sort of warn with an “uh-oh!” so your kid knows he is treading on thin ice. Then, when you hear that godforsaken whining again, you sadly inform them that they have drained so much of your energy with their whining that they will need to do some work to build that energy back up.
So when Monkey is on a real whine bender, I hand him some baby wipes (my cleaning method of choice. I will continue to buy these long after my kids are out of diapers) and have him get to work wiping down the baseboards in a room. After two days he has cleaned the entire upstairs. And doorways and doors. I don’t like whining, but I do like clean baseboards.
Might I suggest this to other parents, when the idea of a time-out just doesn’t feel rewarding enough to you? I have also gotten clean kitchen floors and kitchen baseboards with this arrangement. And clean windows at the front of the house. (Well, I had to clean the windows again because frankly my 5 year old did a crap job. But she was working and- honest- seeing that DID replace the energy she had drained out of me from her earlier tantrum). Sometimes time-out loses its’ pizzazz. When it does- hand them baby wipes and put them to work.
Update: The “Love and Logic” link is my first foray into the world of Amazon affiliates. If you click and buy anything via this site, I will make mad money. Like, seriously, so much.