Tag Archives: Parenting

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday, folks! Here are a few summer funnies for you – enjoy!img_1147

EK, doing a “medical procedure”: What’s your name?
J: Um, *says my dad’s full name*
Me: *laughs and also wonders why he knows my dad’s full name*

Summertime potty training:
Me: Do you need to use the potty?
D: No, I need to use da treeeeeee!
Me: *face palm*

A redundant argument between J and EK, where they both just shout: STOP COPYUING (no typo, lol) ME!

Me after J had gotten hurt: You’re a trooper, babe.
J: I’m a storm trooper!

J, above, looking through the “scopa-tella” (telescope)

D’s name-calling trump card: Toolet face!

Me: If we do some chores and clean our rooms, maybe then we can head to the pool!
EK: Well let’s get this party started!

Brother stuff:
D: You wanna pee on the tree?!
J: Sure, sure, sure! That sounds amazing!

J’s new song: My God made the bushes, and I love God and I love trees and bushes!

What are your kids saying these days? How are they making you laugh?

Summer Can Be Scary (And I’m Not Sorry)

I’ve spent the last few weeks praying about our summer.

I’m so nervous that my kids will think it’s boring, or lame, or both, or whatever. What do kids even think these days? I don’t mind my kids being bored, really. I think it builds character and creativity for them to just figure something out to entertain themselves. I also LOVE to make them get outside. Go ride a bike, pull some weeds in the garden, blow bubbles, or draw with chalk. I don’t care, but don’t tell me you don’t feel like doing it.

There’s a lot of Pinterest and Instagram pressure to make summer an “epic” experience for your kids. But what I really want to do is lowball it as hard as I can, and make them make their own plans. Sure, they’re 2, 4, and 6, but they can tell me what they want to do! We’ve got chore charts intact, complete with a reward system. I have a ready answer to “I’m bored.”

Otherwise, to tell the truth, I enjoy having fun, too! I WANT to go to the pool, and to the park, and the mountains, which blessedly aren’t that far away. I WANT to see our friends and live music and whatever other events are going on. But we just can’t do everything, and I need to take the pressure off of myself NOW or else I’ll drown in it. The pressure is stifling to those of us who just don’t “do” what everyone else seems to do. I’m spontaneous, which is sometimes a great thing with kids, and sometimes not so much. We never sit around the house for too many hours in a row, but there are times that I get an idea in my head, and it’s just too late to make it work.

The other thing that may save my life is the YMCA. We (re)joined a month ago, and so far, beginning my mornings there with my kids in a safe and fun childcare (with lots of their friends!) has been a big stress reliever. Now, my workout doesn’t depend on the weather or on whether the baby takes a nap at the time he’s supposed to. I can get up, make everyone a nice breakfast, and head to the gym to get the endorphins blasting, and then I feel GREAT about whatever else we get – or don’t get – accomplished.

What is saving you this summer? Letting go of your expectations? Making a weekly plan? Lots of vacation or none at all? Tell me all the things that you do to survive and thrive in summer!

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday, y’all! It’s almost OFFICIALLY summer! Hope you had a great holiday weekend, and enjoy these funnies!

J, talking about his Transformer: Aw! He’s holding his little buddy!

At 7:45pm on our way home from dinner…
J: Can we play outside when we get home?
Me: Let’s see what time it is when we get there. I don’t wanna say yes or no.
J: So you wanna say maybe?
Me: Exactly.

EK: Today we were supposed to have book buddies, but they couldn’t come. So we wasted that time with popsicles.

J, after the park: I’m sweatin’ wif real for real water.
EK: Yeah, that’s water that you drank.
J: No, that’s sweat wif real for real water.

J: You’re my life.
EK: No.

So they like to play “family” a lot…
J: You remember when we got married that one time?
EK: Let’s just pretend to be brother and sister.
Me: …..

It begins raining while the sun is still shining…
J: I don’t know why the earth is doing that!

D, romancing me: I have a new heark (heart) wif you in it! And we eat da mashamellows!

J, showing me his toe he had stubbed (badly) the day before: Mom! Look how much God healed it!

That’s it for this week! What are your kiddos saying these days? Share in the comments!

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday! The pickin’s are a little slim this week, but let’s just say it’s because I’ve been more “in the moment” and not because I’ve been horrible at writing things down. Okay? Okay. Enjoy the ones I’ve got!

D: I went to da docker (doctor).
Me: Oh really? What did he say?
D: My name. My brown name.
Me: …oh…

EK: I’m really smart. I can do a puzzle in one minute or ten.

J, standing still against the wall: I look just like a picture!

D, having unbuttoned his whole shirt: Mama, my shirt is broken!

Me, post-workout: My butt is so sore!
J: That’s because you’re sitting on my foot!
Me: …….

J, telling me something I absolutely already know and probably told him myself: Mom! Did you know that…. (fill in the rest with a fact everyone knows)?!?!?!

What are your kids saying these days?!

10 Chores That Young Kids Can Do

This piece also appeared on The Grit and Grace Project.

One of the things I’ve tried to establish early in in my parenting is my desire to raise responsible children who contribute to their community (be it their family, classroom, society, etc). In our culture, this can be difficult… they’re busy, they want to watch TV, or they’re used to being told “You’re too young to do that.” But I’ve got 9 things my kids can and should be doing to contribute to the housework load.

1. Help unload the dishwasher. My kids do their plastic dishes, their cups/bottles/all those parts, and all the silverware (not including sharp knives). I just ask whichever of them is around when I need to get it unloaded, and almost always, they’re eager to help.

2. Put away their laundry. This one is a big one. We often watch some TV before bedtime, and I set a timer for 4-5 minutes at a time, and we pause the TV, and everyone puts some clothes away. Sometimes it’s their own clothes into their own dressers. Sometimes it’s towels, or something of mine or Hubby’s that I have them carry to our room for me to put away later. They’re quite good at helping, and they’re learning to keep their drawers organized… or everything won’t fit!

3. Clean up their toys/pick up their rooms. I don’t make them do this all day every day. We frequently have toys left out, even when we go to bed sometimes. But I do ask them to keep things fairly organized (in labeled bins!) and mostly off the floor. If it gets too out of control, we spend a morning or evening cleaning EVERYONE’s room. But I help, not really facilitate. They know what to do.

4. Bring dishes from the table to the sink. I like having them help clear the table. That way, they can’t just get up whenever they feel like it. They tell me they’re full, and I say when they can get up, take their dishes to the sink, get their hands and faces clean, and go play.

5. Gather/Sort/Switch over laundry. I have them bring their dirty laundry to the laundry room, and often to sort it, help me start a load, help me switch it to the dryer (they’re a little short to get in my top-loading washer), and bring it out to be folded.

6. Clean the table/windows/doors. I let them loose with a roll of paper towels and the Method Glass Cleaner. Boom. It’s not as streak-free as when I do it myself, but they learn that their contribution is valuable at any level.

7. Sweep/pick up crumbs. My kids really like to sweep, and I have a handheld broom and dustpan for them to get everything up off the floor. We try to do this once a day (but then again, it depends on the day).

8. Weed, water, and harvest in the garden. They love this one, simply because they love being outside. We’re teaching them to recognize weeds, and the right way to pull them up (getting the WHOLE weed). They’re also learning when our vegetables are ready to pick – or to eat right off the plant, in the case of several tomatoes and cucumbers!

9. Pack lunch. This one I’m going to start soon. Once I’ve given a good idea of what a healthy lunch looks like, I’m going to have things semi-prepared for my kindergartener to grab a few things to put in her lunch box each morning. I’ll choose a bit, and let her choose her snack and a few add-ins. That way, she’s more excited about eating it because she picked it.

10. Help make the bed. I haven’t set a good precedent about this one, but I often find myself having them help, even if it isn’t first thing in the morning. Having lots of decorative pillows can make the job cumbersome, but pulling up sheets and blankets and putting the animals on TOP of the blankets is pretty darn easy. As is helping Mom or Dad strip the bed and change the sheets! My kids like the putting-on of the pillow cases the best!

What are some things your kids to around the house? Are there other chores I should start my kids on early?

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday! Last week I was on vacation and allowed myself to NOT EVEN POST ANYTHING. So enjoy a couple of weeks’ worth of Crazy Things My Kids Say.

J: Did you know that sometimes when you potty, you can stand up? And then you face away from the potty and poop out.

J: Home is a better airport.

J, about 20 mins away from home: Did you know we’re so close to DisneyWorld?!

Hubby: We’re only about a 12 hours drive away.
J: I can count to 12!
Hubby: Reeeeeeeal slow.

Seeing the Charlotte skyline…
Me: Do you guys see that big building up ahead?
J: The one that looks like a giant big banana?!

EK: I want to be a baker!
Our friend Marie: Well bakers get up really early, like midnight, and work all the way until morning.
EK: I did not know that so I think I won’t.

EK: Hey! Watch out! I’m going on a big dump!
Me: *laughs hysterically*
Hubby: What?
EK: I’m going on a dump!
(Obvi she means pooping, in case we’ve gotten too G-rated in here)

J: I love you to the moon and back! And all the way around DisneyWorld!!

J, after riding in the car for a few hours: When I try to sit up, my booty hurts.
Me: From sitting on it so long? I’m sorry; we’ll stop soon.
J: I think there’s a swordfish back there, poking it.

Too much Disney movie watching…
Me: You’re trying my patience.
J: Like Mowgli is trying Sher-khan’s patience?

Me: You disobeyed me.
J: Like Simba disobeyed Mufasa?

Well, what are your kids saying these days? Let me hear the sillies!

We serve a loving God.

This piece originally appeared on Everyday Exiles.

Kids these days, am I right?

We’re expecting them to do more than they ever would have needed to ten years ago. We’ve been pushing them harder to act older, testing them more often than ever before, and exposing them to more than they should see or know about, years before they’re probably ready.

Recently, my kindergartener came home to tell me a girl in her class (who she’s buddies with, by the way) had a mom who just went to jail. At first, I wasn’t sure how to respond. When I didn’t say anything, she continued on to tell me that it was because the mom had talked to bad guys, and bad guys were sneaky. I could hardly disagree. She also said that the girl would be coming to school with her grandma from now on.

What conversation could I have with my kindergartener about jail? About why people went, how long they stayed, and what would happen after they got out? How could I ever explain to her that this could alter her little friend’s life? Did I keep my daughter on a “need-to-know basis”, and not discuss it further, since she clearly didn’t need to know? Or did I use it as an opportunity to enlighten her on a subject she shouldn’t have to know about at age five? I couldn’t protect her from what she’d already heard; I didn’t want to lie to her, either.

What I ended up saying was that she might take this time to be extra kind to her friend. The girl might not talk about her mom, and that was okay. She might talk about her, and my daughter could just try to be a good listener. She might try to be a really good friend, because the girl might be sad. But most of all, I reassured her that sometimes bad things happen, and we talk to Jesus about them. We asked Jesus to be with the girl more tangibly, and asked Him to tell us what we could do to help her in her hard season. Paul’s letter to the Colossians reminds us to clothe ourselves “with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience”. More and more, I find that children possess those qualities already, and we just need to help them develop. We can call it “character building”. We can call it “education” or “challenging” them. But what it really is is showing them that we live in a broken world, and teaching them to lean on Jesus while they’re here. It’s showing them that bad things do really happen, but that we serve a loving God, who will take care of us, even in the mess.