Basically, if you don’t have little kids, this will bore you to death so carry on.
For those of you who do have little ones…I have a challenge for you. Next time you go to the park for an hour or two, don’t take any snacks and leave your hand sanitizer at home (or throw it out for good). Here’s the deal:
My earliest memory is walking home from my Pre School (age 4ish) which was the distance of a suburban block. After arriving home and
searching the house for my mom I found my Uncle Graeme doing some work in the basement. He informed me that “Oh yeah” my mother had just given birth to my little brother Fraser and was at the hospital. What if I hadn’t come home? If you knew my Uncle or anyone on my Dad’s side of the family you would agree, he might not have noticed. Aaaaahhhh the 70′s. Anyhoo, the point; I was doing a lot on my own at a young age. My parents loved and cared deeply for me and I always felt safe and to be perfectly honest, I never really thought about it. We lived across the street from a park and I would often play there with my brothers and my neighbours. Here’s where my point comes in…I don’t have ANY memories of my mom ever stepping foot in the park let alone laying down a blanket with a variety of snacks for me to nibble on. She most def was not calling me over from the playground to sit down to eat some cucumber. And she would NEVER ask me to rinse my hands with sanitizing lotion first. In fact, I’m pretty sure, when we were playing in the park, she was crossing her fingers in the hopes that we’d play for at least another hour before we came home. If we came home hungry, she’d provide us a with a freshly polished apple (I doubt it was even polished).
Please don’t think I’m belittling loving, doting moms who do provide a little buffet. I just don’t think all this babying and doting is necessary and if we collectively choose to drop out of the “who’s the best mom” contest our job will be a whole lot easier. In fact, I think it’s a negative for the kids. I am guilty of some coddling with my first and second for sure. Even my third at times but Cash is 8 and can barely cut up a pancake on his own. Knox is 3 and can do a 24 piece puzzle by himself, is starting to use a knife at meals and he LOVES it. These kids are capable, we just have to let them try.
So again, here’s the challenge; take your kids to the park (I am not suggesting you send them off on their own as per Barbara Jean Smith). Let them rip around for a couple hours and work up an appetite. Take them home. Have them wash their hands in the sink with a bar of soap (old school). Let them be silent while they mow on strawberries, snap peas and cheese. Mellow out with a Dora (or a book if you’re good) and call it a
good excellent afternoon? I just don’t get the “Come take a break, sit down on the blanket and have a few snacks” delio that’s going on out there. Little boys and girls of the world will stop having the time of their lives on the playground and come to us when they’re hungry. And when they are, they can wait till we get home for a snack. Are we afraid these kids are going to pass out? Seriously…what’s the deal?
The added bonus? No 10 minutes of prepping for the park. No bag to carry. No containers to accidentally leave behind when it’s time to go home. Just grab your jackets and go.
Side note: Did you know that letting your little ones get down and dirty is a benefit to their health? Check it out! http://www.webmd.com/parenting/d2n-stopping-germs-12/kids-and-dirt-germs