Monday, March 22, 2010

Din Din Duff

When I found out that I was pregnant with #4, I somehow thought that this would be the child that I would parent perfectly. He would be on a schedule, eat healthy foods and have no issues whatsoever about being the youngest child. HA! I was delusional. He's not even two and his favorite word is, "snack!" He gets to bed whenever we get him there and his sibs dote on him and spoil him rotten.

But, this morning I did something right...something I never had the time, energy or gumption do do when the big kids were little. I actually did the old toy switcheroo, you know the one that all the early childhood educators tell you do. So I pulled all the misc toys to put away. (Note to self - put toys away!) and brought out the din din duff, known to the rest of the world as kitchen stuff. As I brought up the little tykes kitchen and dug through the fake food and dishes, I was reminded of one of my most treasured memories.

Picture my oldest at three...big blue eyes and light brown curls. This beautiful child covered his little table with an old scarf of mine (one he still sleeps with every now and then - it's code name is the "the cloth") and set it with the toy dishes. He has gone fishing using his magnetic fish puzzle to supply the catch of the day. That day, he took my hand and led me to this table - the most beautiful table I have ever been at and the most "delicious" fish dinner I will ever enjoy. I hate, yes hate, real seafood, but this fish dinner was the most magnificent feast because my boy prepared it for me with so much love.

Fast forward to the 22 month old athlete has discovered the "new" toys. He is using a frying pan to whack plastic fruit. I try to provide different toys that will enhance different developmental experiences for this child. And, what does he do? He plays baseball with it! He may never make me a fake fish dinner, but watching him be himself and love the new toys in his own way became another wonderful memory in my treasure chest. I'm guessing there are some serious baseball (and basketball, football.....) games in my future. So, I may not be doing everything right, but at least I'm not screwing him up (well, not too badly). My precious C knows already knows his strengths and I love him fiercely for it!

What are some of your favorite memories of your kids? Or, if you don't have kids - what stories do your parent tell about you when you were little?

Yes, those toys you see on the other side of the gate are still there waiting to go into storage. Any guesses as to how long they sit there before I get that task done?


  1. he is the cutest! i love how each of your kids has such a distinct personality.

  2. I wrote this three years ago this spring:

    Sometimes I wonder if I'm a good mother.

    My fifth-grader doesn't do anything after school. He doesn't take piano. He hasn't learned a second language. In fact we come home every day after school, and he plays, watches TV and spends time at the computer. Sometime after dinner, he does his homework and then proceeds to play, watch TV and spend time on the computer. I know his college application will show a horrible lack of extra curricular activities; all because he didn't have a good mom.

    Other times, I realize that gift and I'm giving my son. Like yesterday when he came inside scrounging for bottle caps. Actually he was happy for any kind of container cap: an orange juice container cap, a bottled water cap. He was on a mission. He was making boats: boats that would sail on the rivers created by the snow melt.

    I look outside. There are three boys creating ships. Ships made of caps, toothpicks, and paper sails. They spent a good hour doing that until dinner calls them home. Oh, the gift of unstructured time.

    Today the adventure continues. The ship today, however, is far more elaborate. We need corks this time and super glue. It's also not enough to simply sail this ship in the gutter. Mom is called in, and we take a trek across the railroad tracks to a bigger stream created by the snowmelt. As the new ship sails through the rapids, spins around, and gets stuck in a sandbank, we smile and celebrate. We celebrate spring, we celebrate being 11, we celebrate time together.

    Today I am a good mom.

  3. Debra - That was beautiful. My 10 year old boy is having a tough day. You have inspired me to take time away from the daily chores to make oobleck with him. Then we're off to axman to buy supplies to make spaceships that will can land and not sink in the stuff. Today I will be a good mom, thanks to your inspiration. I miss seeing you every week.