Life Lessons Can Be Found Anywhere

Last Sunday, Glad took the kids to a sports park that is not far from home. It has tennis courts, basketball courts, a roller rink, a path circling the entire park for walking, and lots of grass to run in. We have been there many times before but this time, Logan had a request.

Ever since he saw Twice Upon A Christmas and watched Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck skate with ease, Logan has wanted to skate. In his mind it was effortless fun, and after watching the more experienced children zip around the rink, Logan asked to learn to skate. Of course, Lila asked to learn too. She loves skating and was happy to get skates for her last birthday, but has not learned to use them properly. After some thought, Glad decided we should go for it.

The next day, we met at the park and signed the kids up for the class. They provided a basic kit for each of them – skates that attach to your shoes, elbow and knee pads, hand guards, and a soft helmet. Once dressed, they both got in line for their first class.

Logan immediately realized that skating wasn’t as easy as he had imagined. He wanted to go fast like the other kids and was upset to find he couldn’t. Logan has balance issues and trips easily, so our hope is that learning to skate will help improve his balance. But more than that, Logan needs to learnĀ perseverance.

After the first lesson, he didn’t want to go back. The next day when I took them for their second class, Logan cried to whole time. He refused to join his group or even try to walk on the skates, which is what the other beginners were doing. It was one of thoseĀ embarrassing moments in a parents’ life – your child is throwing a fit and you are just praying to keep your composure and at the same time not give in to the tantrum. Since they were just starting out, I had promised them a small treat for doing a good job, but since Logan made such a fuss, he missed his treat and his video time. He didn’t even seem to care that Lila got a treat.

The next day (day 3 of classes) we discussed why he wasn’t yet able to skate fast or backwards like he wanted to. I told him it would take time and effort on his part and that he couldn’t just quit. This isn’t the first time we’ve had this kind of discussion. I also told him that if he threw another fit at class, he would miss our special outing to the mall. I needed to do something to get him to stop saying he couldn’t do it and agree to at least try.

Just before the class started, I asked him what would happen if he threw a fit again. He said he’d miss his treat, video, and mall outing. šŸ™‚ Ā Kids can be so much harder on themselves than we are. Anyway, he did great. Not only did he make good effort, he was happy and smiling the whole time, and he did get a treat this time, plus of course the promised mall outing. We used the outing to take a break from skating class, since classes are on daily but they only need to come as often as we want them to.

Getting Logan to persevere at something has never been easy. It takes loads ofĀ persuasion, encouragement, discussion, and simply saying “You can do it.” Once he learns how to do whatever it is, then he’s fine, but until he learns it, he wears me out with how hard he has convinced himself that he can’t do it.

It isn’t a new lesson, but perseverance is an important one. Sometimes I don’t have the patience to teach him something, like buttoning his shirt. I did it for him forever until daddy asked why. With some effort on daddy’s part, Logan learned to do buttons himself. I’d probably still be doing them for him if daddy hadn’t pushed him. I pushed him with learning to write, Ā among other things, but I foresee this will be a lifelong lesson for Logan. He wants to quit kindergarten now, so I encourage him by telling him the school year is almost over and that he will get a long break. (School lets out in April here.)

I guess the title of this post is its point – life lessons can be found anywhere – even on the roller rink.

My little skaters.

My little skaters.


You can see more pics from the skating here on Facebook.

Summer Fun – Water Play

My children have always loved using water play to cool off in hot weather. When we lived in a tiny apartment, they played in the shower, but when we moved to our house and got our large patio/balcony, they had more space to play.

At first I gave them a bucket of water to play in; then we used the baby bath tub. This works just great for small children in a small area.

September 2010 – Logan, 2 yrs. 10 mo.; Lila, 1 yr. 5 mo.

Then I got them this tiny pool that measured only 2′ in diameter. It was small but they could both get in and enjoy it. It only lasted a short while though as Lila started biting holes in it and I couldn’t inflate it any more.

September 2010

After that, Logan got this large pool as a gift for his 3rd birthday. We finally set it up a few months later once the summer was in full swing and I was recovered enough from Scarlett’s delivery to carry buckets of water to fill it. I think this one is 6′ across.

May 2011 – Lila 2 yrs., Logan 3 yrs, 6 mo.

And we are still using it, but now I use a hose to fill it. And Scarlett loves to help.

This was taken yesterday. Scarlett 16 mo., Lila 2 yr. 11 mo., Logan 4 yr. 4 mo.

Some water play tips:

– As with any activity, safety is important. Make sure the area you are using is non-slippery and has drainage. For a balcony area, you may want to sweep it first if there area lots of leaves or dirt. That way the water stays cleaner and there is nothing painful to step on.
– Bring the toys your child wants before getting in the water to avoid having wet feet and drippy swimsuits running through the house for something they forgot.
– Even if your child is old enough to play alone, do check on them frequently. And never leave a toddler or baby unattended around even a small amount of water.
– Remember your sunscreen, and use hats and t-shirts if your child burns easily.

Have fun.

What is your kids’ favorite way to cool off in the summer?

Rainy Day Activity

First, I must apologise for my absence. All the kids got colds one at a time, and then I got it, and well, I just couldn’t keep up with anything more than the absolutely necessary. You know, the cooking, dishes, diaper changes, baths, laundry – we mom’s don’t really get a break when we’re sick. Add to sickness heavy rain and we were stuck indoors for about 10 days or so. Today the sun has finally come out, but the kids were cooped up for a long time.
One activity I tried to keep them occupied during this time was playing shopping.
I looked in my cupboards for boxes I didn’t need and empty plastic food containers. To make them last a little longer, I put folded newspaper inside the boxes. Not enough to make them heavy, but enough for them to hold their shape. Then I sealed them with wide clear packing tape and let the kids loose. Lila enjoyed it the most. Putting boxes in and out of a bag, then pretending to go home and put the food away kept her busy for a long time.

See the newspaper inside the box?

To keep this activity from getting old quickly, when they were done, I put everything away out of reach. Had I left it on the toy shelf everything would have been damaged. Of course, since these are products I buy regularly it is easy to replace a box if it gets too messed up to play with, but I am trying to teach them to care for their things.
This is an easy activity to add to. Just add new boxes and containers as you get them. You can make the game go further by using play money and acting it out.

What are your children’s favorite rainy day activities?

Just Today

Christmas chocolates. Awesome!

Here is Lila standing up and holding the rocking horse. What do you think of her jeans? Adorable, aren’t they?

Today Logan and I did a Christmas art project, a Christmas countdown poster. I printed it out, cut and pasted the snowman to card stock; covered sections at a time with glue and colored sand, and then added the numbers for the countdown. Of course, Logan is too young for projects such as this so I did most of the work, but it was fun. I had to move it higher up on the door as he kept taking the numbers off. He doesn’t yet understand what it is for.

I plan to begin baking this week. I’ll let you know how it goes.

You know you have a 2-year-old in your house when…

…art projects turn into gooey messes that are tasted and spread around.

…something that doesn’t yet fit on the toilet only wants to use the toilet, not the potty.

…ALL the toys get dumped at playtime.

…underwear begs to be shown off.

…they begin to wear their attitude on their shirts.

…your floors turn rainbow colors…

when your artist runs out of space in the coloring book for that very loooong line.

…you try to get said artist to clean the mess (but end up having to do it yourself because he just can’t scrub hard enough.)

…the dog gets hugs from all angles.

…you just can’t get a proper posed pic no matter how hard you try.

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