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Go Sock

I took a nap (1)

Our family sometimes played “Go Sock” by dumping all the unmatched socks in a huge pile in the middle of the floor. I dealt out a few socks and we took turns making matches, getting them from each other, or having to “Go Sock” and choose a random one from the mound. We played our way through the perpetual work of matching family socks.

In a game or just getting it done, sock sorting is authentic work. Good for you, this means that you are – 

  • teaching a life skill 
  • working side-by-side with your kiddo
  • modeling getting a chore done with a good attitude
  • getting the socks taken care of

You are doing the important work of parenting.

We matched all the socks.

Potty Training

Last pack of diapers

Behind every potty trained child there is a weary, cheerleading parent! You’ve read the all the books, made charts, read tons of extra books, explained waaaaaaay more than you thought you ever would, had starts and stops… and have just about made it. (Or you will. Or you did long ago.)

How many stickers have you given out for your child’s steps towards toilet training? Besides the obvious rewards of convenience and savings, there should be a sticker or some recognition for all of YOUR hard work to get your family to this point. So, here’s to you for your patience, guidance, encouragement, and consistency – it has made this big milestone possible for your kiddo and for you.

I bought the last pack of diaper$.

Wheee!

they did it all by themselves

When I went to the playground with my first toddler, I also took my second – I had twins. As they excitedly approached the slide I faced a defining moment in my parenting. With two children ready to try out the big slide, I had to decide whether I would help them up the huge ladder steps or catch them at the bottom of the steep incline.

I was 7 months pregnant with my third and knew I couldn’t keep my kiddos totally safe from their exciting adventure. I chose to sit on the playground bench and cheer their efforts… and successes!

This choice was foundational to my parenting. It helped me understand how much my children needed to try, how much my allowing risk was essential to their growth, and how much my standing down contributed to the formation of their strength, grit, and self image.

Well done parents, by granting your child the freedom of risk, you’ve given your child the gift of themselves – their strongest, most brave, creative self. And whether or not they were able to do it this time (whatever “it” was), you can be so proud of them – and more importantly, they will be so proud of themselves.

They did it all by themselves!

Casual Conversation

We (1)

Parents, you’re building just the right dinner table culture. Your table is one where each of you can share and ask, where everyone can listen and learn, where life happens.

Meals like this require good, hard, consistent work. Evidence of that effort is in the maturing conversation you were a part of tonight.

Good for you, for getting the dinner on the table, sitting down, eating together, and investing in the conversation. Dinner tonight was nourishing in all ways. Congratulations, this is where we would all like to eat!

We all shared at dinner tonight.

Mess

they cleaned it up

From singing the ‘clean-up song’, to making chore charts, to Spring cleaning together- you are building a vital lifeskill over a lifetime. You have given your child the right tools at the right time so that they could handle a mess.

Your child’s help is great. Their cleaning up on their own is priceless. It is testimony to your investment in their growing independence and responsibility. Their future roommates, co-workers, landlords, friends, and partners thank you!

They cleaned it up.

Forward Motion

my kiddo pointed out something beautiful (1)

Did you get one of those sweet baby calendars? the ones that have stickers to mark each milestone and “first”? Have you used it? I had one, actually I had several. I did a few entries – I was too exhausted and busy and it just didn’t seem as important as being in the moment. And the moments kept coming.

I’ve realized that actually the stickers should really be rewritten to reward the parents. “Baby’s First Step” might become a shout-out to mom and dad. Or better yet, we could edit them to reflect the dual effort in the parent/child dance.

To take a step is to move independently. But before a baby can take that step, they need a parent to buy the little walker wagon, to cheer each effort, to hold chubby hands, to stoop over helping, to kiss away the stumbles… This sticker goes to you for all that YOU’VE done to help your child take their first step – whatever kind of step that is just now.

My kiddo took a step.

Good Morning

I slept in (1)

It often feels like parenting wins are built by sleep losses. There will never be enough hours to do it all. So a little extra sleep this morning was a gift.

But that bonus didn’t just happen. Every time you’ve stopped and gone to bed you’ve made the choice to care for your sleepy self. With every bedtime story, song, last drink, XO… you’ve done the foundational job of helping your child feel safe and be settled each night. This is important work.

So, congratulations! Whatever the reason – even if was just a fluke, even if it was only an extra 10 minutes  – you got to sleep in a bit today. That was a gift for both of you. Here’s hoping for more bonus Z’s soon.

I slept in.

Holding Hands

They took my hand

There is so much research that shows how much touch enhances development. But you know that; you feel that. You can tell how steadying, how healing, how tender even the simplest connections are.

No matter how old your baby is, it is a ‘parent paycheck’ when they reach out for you. You’ve earned that reward through so many snuggles, kisses, pats, and hugs.  Enjoy the honor. 

They took my hand.

Kid Lit

we read the right book (2)

Librarians have a superpower of finding the perfect book at the right time. You had some of that gift today. You knew just what to do. Stories help.

You reached for a book; the one (or two, or three, or more) that was needed. Some books are challenging books – that call us to a new perspective. Some books are inspirational books – that spur us to creative action. Some books are comfort books – that provide relief and solace. And some books are break books – that help us step out of the situation and maybe even laugh. You get it.

This is a hard season – parts of today have been heartbreakingly difficult. Be encouraged that you are coming alongside your child. You are using the tools at hand to give your kids the language and stories they need to understand now and to be a part of building a more hopeful time. Congratulations.

We read the right book for this hard day.

Dandelions

my child gave me flowers

When you receive flowers from your child – whether it is a handful of “blow-flowers” (dandelions), a bouquet from the florist, or all the sweet blossoms in between – these offerings are a testimony to your relationship.

Well done, that you’ve taught your child to, quite literally, ‘stop and smell the roses’. Well done, that they’ve learned from you that sharing a special thing enhances the experience. Well done, that they choose you as the recipient of that joy. Well done.

My child gave me flowers.