Thursday, January 12, 2012

2 - Invite Popeye to dinner!

I can't complain.  My kids are pretty good eaters.  I would like to think that my kids are good eaters because I breast fed them all, and, just to be sure my kids were getting the taste of broccoli in the breast milk, I, personally, would take an extra serving of vegetables at dinner time when I was breast feeding.  Did you know, breast fed kids are suppose to be less picky eaters because they have experienced so many tastes, before they even start on solids?  So they say.  I would also like to think that it is because my husband and I trained them well. We diligently fed the vegetable baby foods, one at a time, until they were all being consumed rather than spit out, before moving onto the sweeter fruits. Did we train their pallets to accept the bland and bitter?  All that being said, they are still kids, and would rather eat PB and J's than green beans. 

But, you never would have believed what happened at dinner the other night.  Their eyes lit up when they saw the bowl of dark greens (and bacon!) coming to the table.  I made Collard Greens (from my garden :-), and the kids grabbed the tongs and put some on their plates as soon as they sat down.  Their little faced scrunched up as they chewed up and swallowed their bitter greens, without a single reminder to eat their veggies.  Apparently, I haven't mastered the art of cooking greens.  Regardless, they ate it, all in the name of Spinach.  I didn't dare tell them that it wasn't actually spinach.  They had recently seen Popeye, thanks to an old school DVD I had picked up from Goodwill, and they were eating in the name of bulging Popeye style muscles.  As soon as it had been swallowed, they promptly started making muscles and saying, "Look how strong I'm getting!"  Indeed.  As long as they overlook the smoking pipe and fighting, Popeye is quite a role model.  I just want to know, why don't more cartoons involve superhero's that require vegetables to activate their powers?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

1 - Ugly parents

Yelling is ugly.  I don't like being yelled at, and I don't like doing it.  Either way, it feels yucky, and the only feeling that remains is guilt if I've dished it out, or disrespect (and a strongly dislike) towards the yeller, if I'm the recipient.  I'm pretty sure that feeling is the same, regardless of age.
But, I do it.  I wanted to say, "doesn't everybody?"  But, I stopped myself, because I don't want to 'make it OK'.  I don't care if everyone does.  I would like not to.

Like I was saying, I do it, not regularly, but when it happens, I've ruined my own day.  I call it a bad mommy day.  But, I've figured out how to make the bad mommy days go away, so I thought I would share:

1.) Just like my children when they can't control their emotions, I'm probably not getting enough sleep.  So, go to bed earlier.  Take an Ambien if necessary.  Get some sleep.

2.) I need to review my Love and Logic DVD (I have the books too, but, it sure is nice getting all the most important information in just a few short hours).  Suddenly, what to do about whining kids, arguing, kids who won't pick up their toys, and picky eaters is crystal clear.  Easier said than done, I'll admit, but clear.  And once it's clear, it's less frustrating.  No biggie.  No yelling.

I've found that brainwashing myself with how to be a good parent can actually overcome the lack of sleep, which is helpful, since, after all, I have 3 young children, a variety of animals, a husband, a house to clean, mail to sort, coupons to clip, a garden to weed, emails to check, and so on and so on.

Good parenting takes some thought.  Some planning even.  Some effort.  But, I don't think lazy parents make very good parents, and I like to be a good parent.

"Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty... I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well."
-- Theodore Roosevelt

And the brilliance of the Love and Logic approach is that the difficulties become your childrens', for them to overcome.  They are better people because of it.  I bet the Love and Logic people are Teddy fans.