Yes, You Can Have Candy After You Brush Your Teeth!

School is back in session and the morning routine, or should I say struggle, is back in place.  Despite my husband’s wise advice of, “Well, you may just have to get them up earlier,” I have to remind him, I could start last night and I would still be pushing them out the door 5 minutes late. They are kids!  Two kids I love dearly of course.

So, I started thinking strategically last night, how can I simplify the process in the morning and get them out on time?  There really is no simplifying the process honestly…how hard is eating breakfast, getting dressed and brushing your teeth?  But I still needed a creative idea.  So this morning I told the children that the first one to get ready got a piece of candy.  They always love some competition. It worked beautifully!  They even had time to watch TV for 5 minutes.  Well, my daughter won and got 3 skittles.  Upon receiving them she asked, “Mommy, can I have the candy now even though I already brushed my teeth?”  My response….SURE!

Now, I probably will not be considered for Mom of the Year, but my morning battle disappeared and everyone was happy.  So was it really that bad of an idea?  I won’t ask their dentist!

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The little things in life…

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I have the joy of helping at my kids’ school once in a while; it is so nice to see what takes place during their day and how much they love it! And what a huge relief to see your children interacting with other children, happy and loving to learn. (On a light note, based on the “college fund” that we gave Primrose Schools in the early years of their lives, they better be the smartest, most social children at the school!)

Just last week there was a Mardi Gras wagon parade at the school (it was delayed due to the EXTREME winter weather Atlanta experienced that caused school cancellations the week before…yes “EXTREME” is sarcastic!). This parade was something that seemed so uneventful to the adults, but the children were so excited about this wagon parade all day, that the teachers had a hard time keeping them focused on school work. I look at these types of things and look at my kids every day and realize how much your perspective changes in adulthood. Why does it take so much to thrill us as adults? My children are always so excited about their next birthday, losing their next tooth…I am about to turn 40 and let me just say, I am not counting down the days because I am so excited…I am counting down the days I have left in my 30s wondering where the time has gone and wondering if we can slow things down.

I try my best every day to encourage their creative minds, pretend play, youthful thinking but sometimes it does require me to take a step back and correct myself. As grown-ups we often try to rush them along in our busy days and I remind myself, how unfair that is. Let them play school, color and make a mess on the kitchen table, paint, dress-up, make paper airplanes…let them be kids. And mostly importantly, learn something from them…slow down and enjoy life. The house doesn’t have to always be spotless. And who cares if dinner is not on the table at 6PM as planned?

Valentine’s Fun Stick Guilt

Last year I had that mom guilt…the guilt that made me feel my children needed to go to drastic measures to make overly creative Valentine’s cards for their friends.  And yes, although cute, I realized that was simply me feeling that guilt. I’m curious why moms often feel that guilt. Well, this week started off with one child home from school with a stomach and then me sick with a cold (performing at half the speed of smell).  I am blaming my cold on my daughter’s kindergarten class that had six kids out sick yesterday (this was her third stomach bug since December).

Anyways, since I’m still feeling pretty blah from this cold I took the lazy route yesterday and bought the Valentine fun stick packets for my kids to give out at school.  My children thought those were the best things in the world!!!!  So my question, why do so many parents feel like their kid must take this extraordinary product to school when the simplest thing makes the children happy?  Even now I still feel my children need to add a sticker or something special to the packet so it looks like we put work into it. The funny part, I recently found my son’s box of cards from last year thrown in a corner of his room.  So obviously this isn’t something they think much about after Valentine’s Day.  We won’t talk about why it is still in a corner of his room…that is a whole different subject…

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The Simple Minds of Children

Since my son started school a couple of years ago I have been very fortunate to be involved at the school.  I have gotten to know many of the teachers that you can truly see have a passion for children.  Although some days (when my two children won’t behave) I wonder how a teacher handles a full classroom of kids, I have seen the blessings they receive from teaching.  Just as a mother that volunteers at the school an hour or two a week, you see how big the hearts of so many kids are…they get so attached even to those of us that just make an occasional appearance.   

So, this week I went to help my son’s teacher for a couple of hours.  Part of the time I was working in the classroom while his teacher was teaching.  The teacher was walking through the responsibility of homework, and how in 2nd grade it is no longer mommy and daddy’s responsibility to make sure homework is completed and turned in.  Of course I understand why they are starting to train them in that direction, but honestly, I still feel I should check my son’s homework at the big age of seven.  Anyways, I believe every child in that class asked a question…What if my dog eats my homework?  What if my mom forgets to put it in my folder?  What if I finish my homework but leave it at home?  What if my mom throws it away?  Imagine 23 of these questions.  By the end of the discussion the teacher laughed and explained that all possible questions had been asked and answered.  The funny part, these questions were asked with the straightest faces.  They were thoughts that actually ran through their little heads. It made me realize how their simple thoughts can bring so much laughter and happiness to us if we just take the time to take it in.

Back in the Swing of Things

Well, the school year is now underway. The crazy summer had me slacking off a little on the blog. My kids are loving school, even the kindergartener. Unlike my son that cried and reached for me as I walked out the door, my daughter simply confirmed I would come back for her, then said good-bye without the tears. The odd part…we have been in school for over two weeks now, and today Emory cried as I dropped her off in the carline. “I don’t want to go mommy!” Wow, did that tear at my heart strings. How can their tears make us moms so emotional? So of course I cried on the way to work. I am such a sucker!

On a lighter note, my son has had a smooth adjustment to second grade. I think he is actually starting to build friendships and looks forward to school.  Always a good feeling for us parents! Now, the most entertaining part of the school year so far are the updates I receive from my daughter’s kindergarten teacher and par pro. One morning I was actually pulled aside in the hallway and told “Emory is PERFECT!” Oh my gosh! Are you sure we are talking about my child? Perfect? Really?  “She just sits in class, obeying all the rules, raises her hand, stays quiet when asked to.”  Now I’m not sure if they are amazed at any child who behaves like that, or just because they had my son two years ago, and she just is not behaving very Bohlander-like.  Regardless, the word perfect did give me a good chuckle.  Thinking I should record her and her brother fighting one afternoon and show that to her teachers.  She has quite a devil side to her.  Lucky for her, she is super adorable!

Despite all the joking, I honestly have to say, we are so lucky to have two happy, social, normal children that love school.  It makes our lives much easier.  I am thankful every day for our excellent school and teachers.  Another year is underway…boy does the time fly!

Paint!!!

Sounds like an odd subject, doesn’t it?  Well, it went kinda like this…my son was already missing his buddy from school after just one week.  So, I texted the mom and scheduled a “play date.” (I have a confession…I hate the phrase “play date.”) Anyways, his friend comes over to hang out.  Great!!! New problem…my daughter won’t leave them alone.  OK.  So I call the neighbor down the street and ask her to send her daughter down to keep my daughter from driving my son crazy.  So Ally comes down to play.  But I was a little confused.  What in the world should I do with both kids playing?  I could actually accomplish something around the house.  Hmmmm.  So I pulled out the paint and touched up several walls in the house! Holy cow! This was not normal. It was nice to have a chance to get our walls presentable again, but I must admit, a little part of my heart sunk thinking my little ones were growing up and wanting less time with mom and more time with friends. Of course I would not change that for anything. As I have gotten older in life I have realized, brains will only get you so far in life (unless you want to be something like a doctor, scientist, etc). Fifteen years out of college I look around in the work world; no one cares who had a 4.0, but social skills are far more important.  

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Summer is here!

Well, it is officially summer (as far as school goes).  I am proud to say I shed no tears at my daughters pre-k graduation. Maybe because, unlike when my son graduated from pre-k, I know what is on the other side of the rainbow….an excellent school where we know and love the teachers. Or maybe it is because we are not really closing the Primrose chapter in our lives yet, between summer camp and after school. Or it could be the 5 years of friendships my son had built at Primrose all got split up and sent to different schools…even today those are my son’s best friends and the families we spend the most time with; my daughter’s class just never had that tight bond.  I’m not sure…but it was much easier to smile than expected.

On a lighter note, the pool is open and everyone is ready for the holiday weekend. Our neighborhood pool is like a major water park! And on holiday weekends like this it is so crowded it just looks like a bunch of penguins standing up in a pool (Honestly, the temperature of the water is still cold enough penguins might enjoy it!) Several small slides, mushrooms, dumping buckets and more for the kids and even a huge slide for anyone 48″ or taller. I have not tried it yet. We have lived here 7 years! Have you ever seen one of those coin machines where you drop the coin in, it goes down a tunnel and drops into a bowl where it spins round and round then drops out? Well, that is how our slide works. And I haven’t found the urge to test it yet. I have promised I will try it one day but it will definitely require a couple of beers first. The funny part is, due to all the top notch pool attractions, we have lots of “new” friends in the summer. I already had a friend invite herself yesterday. I have decided we should charge a fee to all our “new” friends each summer and it might cover our neighborhood dues each year. Now off for some summer fun!

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