Eyebrows, Coffee, and Beach Balls…OH MY!

So, feeling a bit overwhelmed this week after coming home from our road trip Monday evening to a messy house (same one we left in a whirlwind rush on Thursday), to a busier than usual teaching schedule, a broken dishwasher, a traveling husband (to Buffalo, NY – no offense to any up-staters, but I’m hoping this gig does not work out), gaps in my childcare, a missing grandmother, and not enough sleep…

But here are some “good things” that helped me feel better today (which is now “yesterday” – gotta stop staying up so late):

  • Teaching low-income, Spanish-speaking families and their teachers at Bachman Lake Community School – watching the parents bond with their children during “rest” time, getting lots of smiles and giggles when we bounced the beach ball up and down on the big blue sheet  to music (say, GREAT IDEA – you probably have those 3 ingredients for fun at home: sheet, ball, music?), teaching them “Twinkle, twinkle, little star, what a wonderful child/ Mommy you are.”“Wonderful Child” rhyme
  • Coming out of my room at “rest time” to be greeted by an excited MJ, who has thoughtfully wrapped a present for me – a box of silly putty and plastic necklaces!
  • Playing the dice-version of “Mother/ Brother, May I” with MJ while Ellie was napping and we weren’t. We took turns rolling the dice and moving across the playroom to each other (6 baby steps, 3 giant leaps, etc.) until we reached each other for a big hug and kiss! (Any version of “Mother, May I” is so great for teaching internal control to little ones, and you can use it anywhere! Add the dice for some added counting fun.) What I know for sure…I never regret the 5-10 minutes I “take” to play with one of my kids. 
  • Reaching out to a good friend who just had a miscarriage – no homemade meal in tow, but I did deliver an iced White Rocker, a big hug, played with her tot, and did some dishes. What I know for sure…reaching out to others always does a spirit good. I always feel better after sharing some love (and I hope she did, too).
  • Escaping from it all with a quick dip in my old apartment pool while I had a babysitter this evening. Looking up at the clouds, the leaves, and birds while I float on my back is one of my favorite pleasures in the summer – only the sound of the water in my ears – no cell phone ringing or texts dinging, no children whining, no TV, just me and my thoughts and the sky. I so needed that “Minute for Mommy”!
  • Coming home in time to rock my Ellie-girl, and say goodnight to her eyebrows. (This is just one of our favorite night-time rituals that involves loving touch, a few giggles, and a lot of connection.) You can make it simple by just saying to your chid in your soothing voice, “I’m going to say goodnight to your eyebrow…(then touching it gently), “Goodnight, eyebrow. Goodnight, other eyebrow.”…I’m going to say goodnight to your cheeks…“, etc. It’s  a great way to build those brain and emotional connections at the end of the day in a calming way. And you’ll enjoy them doing it to you in return.  Toss in a few silly ones along the way like “armpit” and “Big toe.”  I’m also intentional about teaching some of the less obvious body-part vocabulary words like “ankle”, pinky, knuckles, forehead, ear lobe, etc…(A teacher friend once told me she was embarrassed to discover that her 6-year-old son did not know where his ankle was. Music linked with your loving touch is the best way to teach such a concept at an early age to make for a vocabulary-“rich” brain.) I’ve turned this “I Love You” ritual into a song (of course!), but …AAAGH! I can’t figure out how to attach the recording, soooo I promise I will soon and post it as “Song of the Week”. Stay tuned…


  1. mommymanders says:

    On the MJ’s USA map placemat this morning, I realized that Buffalo is not “up”-state, but side-left-state. My geography is lacking, but I’m still hoping I never have to know exactly where it is…