scheduled days in so many ways

In ALL, MY LISTS, RAISING HOPS INTO BEERS, SNIPS & SNAILS, SUGAR & SPICE by Stephanie Klein16 Comments

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This is a list more for me than anyone else. It’s a list that helps me punch things into order. Makes me feel like a good mother, even on days when the very last thing I want to do is mother. I obviously realize that what children want most is to spend time with you, doing any old thing. That they’re happy in your lap, or even across the room, as long as you’re paying attention to them. The last thing anyone has ever accused me of is being rigid. I just want to get it all down, to expose them to "new." Most of their time is spent with them free to explore and spend time engaged in what interests them most. But when they act bored, or out, or even like me, I pull out my list for ideas.

PSYCHO MAMA HISSY FIT TIME: Listen to clit rock and dance like fools singing along to lyrics about being "over it."

BUILDING TIME: Wooden Blocks, Legos, Stacking Rings (Talk about shapes, colors, sizes, and COUNT), Shot Glasses

FREE PLAY: Play with cars and trains (show how they can link and follow roads on play mat). Use dump truck and show how you can fill and empty it. Dolls and stuffed animals: put them to bed, feed them, nurture them, push in stroller, brush hair. Wear hippie clothes and bells on our toes, then see how many people we can stuff into a VW van.

SORTING TIME: Animal Hospital and Farm Play. Otherwise, it’s time to reorganize mama’s makeup drawer.

SIGNING TIME: Watch Signing Time Video as Lunch or Dinner is being prepared

MUSIC TIME: Play "music together CD" and take out musical instruments (Must be supervised, and I must be inebriated)

ALONE TIME: Can hide under table covered with blanket or in old cardboard box or in that playhouse we have. Or I can just lock myself into the bathroom and pretend I’m busy.

PHYSICAL TOYS: Tunnel time with pulling and pushing toys, ride on toys, tires, boxes. Otherwise, just wrestle them to the ground until they scream uncle.

SCARVES TIME: Play with different colored scarves, see how they float in air, talk about colors, play hide and seek with them, or go to Hermes and shop.

FOLLOW THE LEADER: A parade of follow the leader, and singing sequential songs like Hokey Pokey, If You’re Happy And You Know It, Wheels on the Bus and Old MacDonald, helps them learn sequences.

STORY TIME: Read books in Spanish & English, read nursery rhymes (Ideally, turn on a story time lamp) like one of these to start this special ritual. Essential to teaching them how to lie properly. Yay, "fiction."

PUPPET SHOW TIME: Play with finger puppets & regular puppet show. Give Lucas and Abigail old socks with faces drawn on them and teach them how to do puppets. See Story Time for pointers.

PRETEND & PLAY BALL TIME: Catch, throw, roll, kick. When lose attention, teach how to imitate animals: hop like rabbit, tiptoe like birds, waddle like ducks, slither like a snake, do crab walk. Then pick up your self-respect. Do the ASL sign for each animal. Can also repeat or combine this with stories and songs that include animals.

Comments

  1. don't forget playing with salt clay time. And counting the pennies into the penny jar time. And decorating the sugar cookies time. And putting the toppings on the pizza time.

    I'm working on put your dirty clothes in the washer time, wash your own dishes time, don't dump your crap inside the front door time and put mom's earrings back in the jewelry box time.

    Life is good.

  2. Not only will this mean zip when they're 20, it means zip when they're two.

    Why do parents impose adult-imagined learning goals on kids? It's nuts.

    Forget the list. Throw them some tupperware…

    Get a pedi and relax.

  3. kinda of agree with the nanny comment … although even with daycare and nannies there's still plenty of time with the little ones …

  4. Do you even realize that everytime you write about wanting to have your kids be "free to explore" anything they want is a euphemism for "what can I get away with not doing so I dont have to exert so much effort to be a mom"….. it wreaks of shirking responsibility and being half comitted to the child-rearing process….you are the quintessential part-time mom who is afraid of losing her own identity…your children are like pets you play with in between "L.A. script development" sessions….you're a fool!

    FROM SK: A fool who's "shirking responsibility" by responsibly helping to support her family. If anything, this list is my way of taking responsibility. I care. I'm trying to be creative. I'm writing for television, not throwing them in front of one.

  5. Glad to hear you penciling them in and making an effort to be there and entertaining while you are. And I truly mean that. Motherhood full time at this age can be very unstimulating. Good to have a plan!

  6. OMG, oyvayubby – kids DO need to be free to explore! They learn by playing! It's not shirking responsibility – that's ludicrous. Letting kids have time to play on their own is beneficial – and is not mutually exclusive to being an engaged parent.

    Are you saying parents should be micromanaging their children's play time? I can't imagine a worse approach. And the "part-time mom" remark is unbelievably offensive. SK – I give you credit for such a restrained response!

  7. A lot of people on this board are full of themselves. I doubt SK ignores her children in anyway. These are kind of cowardly attacks. The woman writes about her fam all the time and takes countless photos. I'd say she seems doting.

  8. I think this post is hilarious – you have made these activities sound like a lot more fun (for an adult) than they really are sometimes! For some of the other commenters, are they GETTING the tongue in cheek?

    As for the Psycho Mama Hissy Fit Time – I'm not sure that's what my mom called it though I think that's what it was. I have great memories of dancing in the dining room with my mom and younger brother while singing along artists during what I affectionately call her "lesbian folk" period – GOOD TIMES.

  9. too funny.. this sounds like my days when I was home all day with my daughter. we had so much fun.. even if i did try to escape by hiding in the bathroom

  10. I'm a first time commenter and new reader…so, hi.

    I loved this list, and will definitely be borrowing some of your ideas. I have 21-month old boy/girl twins, and I am constantly trying to find stimulating and educational things we can do together.

    I'm amazed at the amount of hateful, judgmental comments you get — especially on your parenting skills and decisions. I'm even more amazed that they mostly come from other women. It reeks of catty jealousy.

  11. Wow, I was actually going to comment the opposite of oyvayubby. That you don't need to plan out all that stuff and give the kids a chance to be bored. My little brother & I decided what toys we wanted to play with each day, and when we got bored we invented our own games ("shipwrecked" – meant camping out on one of our beds with all our stuffed toys, and a huge number of backyard/outdoor games like playing "Robin Hood" in the bushes or "Cookie factory" in the sandbox). My mom only suggested stuff when we were out of ideas and we asked for something to do, which didn't happen very often. Giving them a chance to keep themselves occupied does not make you a neglecting mom, I think it stimulates their own creativity & resourcefulness (if that's a word). At least when they're older, at 2 it may be a bit much of course.

  12. Holy Smokes — I read this list and thought: it's moms like you who make me feel woefully inadequate. It would never occur to me to organize so many fun-sounding activities in one day. Noticing that there were no meals or naps scheduled, I reread the post and decided that these must be the options available on any given day.

    I am guessing that you are a fun and loving mom and that they enjoy being around you and loved by you and cared by you. You have a healthy sense of self and will clearly teach your kids to develop their own senses of self.

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