Sunday, June 26, 2016

I Prefer Chicken.

My sister having a baby just a few months before me is great. She's still got a lot of the stuff that I passed on for her to use with my older nephew, and when she's done with it this time, she passes it back to me. Case in point, I have not yet had to purchase a single item of clothing for Bean.

Sometimes though, there's not enough of something to go around. In particular, there is a mobile that my nephew showed no interest in for a while, but is now pretty into. I'm trying to get little Bean to view her crib as a relaxing place to hang out for a while, instead of the pit of lava filled with spikes that she seems to think it is. A mobile might come in handy. I'm not about to snatch  a toy from a baby though, so I've decided to make one.*

As I was finishing up the first few parts, I hit a snag; I ran out of stuffing. I mentioned it to Husband, and we planned to go to the craft store for some on the weekend. Which of course didn't happen. "That's okay, there's a craft section at the grocery store, right? You can grab me some when you pick up groceries tomorrow." I added it to the list after toilet paper.

I've been going to bed with the baby lately, and he stopped at the store on his way home from work, so I was asleep when he got in. In the morning, he asked me if he'd gotten the right kind of stuffing. It had taken him a while to find it at the store, and he wasn't sure what kind I wanted, so he got me both.
"Both? I don't see it. Where did you put it?" "In the kitchen."

After I stopped laughing, I pointed out that neither was the best kind for a baby's mobile. "Oh. Crap. Right." He promised to pick some of the right kind up on the way home.

Anybody remember the felt?

For scale, that's my 10yo.

*I'll post it when I'm done. I'm hoping it'll be cute.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Talking About the Hard Stuff.

 This morning, Facebook threw up one of those "these are your memories" photos at me, of Kee and I.  Heads together, smiling, doing bunny ears on each other. I called Kee over to show her this adorable picture of us, and she says "why are we doing that with our fingers?! That means 'meet me naked in the shower in two minutes!" Uhm, no, sweet child, those are innocent little bunny ears. "But Karen at school said..."

Kee is going to be eight years old tomorrow. I know, I'm shocked too! And now that she's getting older, she's becoming less about princess dresses and playing pretend, and more about pop stars and fitting in with her peers. Less about being silly, and more about being "cool". I am more than aware that she is going to begin to make her own friends and her own decisions, and that I will think some of them are awful (friends and decisions, both!).

I think the most important thing that we can do is lay a foundation for our kids. Talk to them about things like good decision making, standing up for themselves, and taking responsibility, *before* they start to care more about what Karen thinks than what we do.

Sometimes it can be tricky though. How do you even broach the topic of drugs, consent, or peer pressure with an eight year old? It's not really something that's going to come up in our day to day conversations (unless spurred by the Karens of the world). Personally, I like to read with them, watch shows with them, and talk with them about their feelings and reactions to the stories. What did they think about somebody bullying somebody else? How can you tell when a secret is too big and you need to break a promise to a friend to get help?

One of my favourite shows to watch with them when they were smaller was Arthur, based on the books by Marc Brown. They tackle a wide variety of issues from bullying, to cancer, to plagiarism. It's always handy to be able to say "remember when that character did something similar...?" While I could happily watch Arthur every day forever, they're getting older and not so much into cartoon aardvarks anymore. Luckily, Arthur's not the only show around that can help you out.

While there are many more available, here's a short list of shows you can find on Netflix to help you get started:

 For the little kids:

Sibling Rivalry
Watch Ep. S1E1: Babee's Room

Buzzabee and Rubee compete over who Babee (their new sibling) gets to room with. Mom and dad must explain to Buzzabee and Rubee that Babee needs to grow up before she can share a room.

Watch Ep. S1E1: Puppies & Guppies/Sorry We're Closed Today

Larry and Laura Carrot want to adopt puppies, but quickly learn it takes responsibility in order to watch over and care for a pet of their own.

Following the Rules
Watch Ep. S1E6: Stormy Weather/ Baba's Adventure/ Rock Music

Mama tells Oona and Baba to stay close with a storm approaching. After ignoring her advice, Oona and Baba get stuck in a seagull nest during the heavy thunderstorms.

     For the big kids:

Watch Ep. S1E13: Star

After Dulcinea feels like no one in the group needs her help, she tries to use a newly-discovered wishing star to show her worth -- but fails -- showing her that her presence alone has lit up her friends' lives all along.

Watch Ep. S1E3: Smart is the New Cool

After McKeyla insists she works better alone, she learns that four is better than one when her friends jump in to help her rescue the Prince from a botched space mission.

Peer Pressure
Watch Ep. S1E6: The Legend of El Explosivo

After getting grounded for sneaking off to Bobby Popko's house, Jackson realizes he needs to stand up for what he knows is right and not give in to please his friend.

     For the teens:

Actions Have Consequences
Watch Ep. S1E1&2: Pilot & Consequently

Brandon finds himself in a dangerous situation when trying to help Callie (his new foster sister) find her brother -- learning that his actions can result in unexpected consequences. 

Watch Ep. S1E4: Kimmy Goes to the Doctor!

Kimmy quickly realizes that she can't fix her problems by simply "Buhbreezing" them away -- real change comes from the inside. 

Body Image
Watch Ep. S1E16: Home

After Sue demands that Mercedes lose weight, Quinn steps in to change her mindset and together they set the stage for beauty at William McKinley High, teaching the importance of empowerment and inclusion.