Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Re-Post: A Fix for Broken Crayons

Items needed:

* Muffin Pan (I use a small one that I got at a yard sale.)
* Cooking Spray (or baking cups - especially if you are using a tin you cook in.)
* Broken Crayons

First, preheat oven to 200'. Separate crayons into color families. (i.e. purple & blue, blue & green, green & yellow, yellow & orange, orange & red) Just make your own color combinations. Take off all remaining paper and break crayons into small 1 inch or less pieces. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray or use baking cups. Fill tin/cups with crayons. Bake at 200' for 9 minutes or until crayons are melted. Remove from oven. Let cool for 1 hour. If you are in a hurry for them, they may be cooled faster in the fridge.

Midweek Pick Me Up
Last week our TV was successfully "broken" (TV Turn-Off Week), forcing me to spend more one on one time with my son than I have been recently. It was fantastic, horrible, and in the end definitely worth it. In fact we are still unplugged.

During this experiment I noticed a couple interesting side effects. First, my child's behavior. Less aggressive tendencies and a longer attention span? Wrong. He still turns everything into a toy gun, loves to tackle me, and rarely sits still for more than thirty seconds. What I did see, with delight, was an increase in his spontaneous affection. Let me spell it out to you: I traded in TV time and got extra hugs and kisses all day long with no prompting from my non-stop little boy. Now that's a great deal.

A second observation was on the state of our house. Generally, I'm not extraordinary at housekeeping, but I try to keep things decent and orderly. Last week nothing got done. No really, nothing. Dinner? Not quite. Laundry? Negative. Sweeping and mopping? Sorry. Tower of dishes with invading ants? Yup. In short, I learned I don't know how to keep the house clean while being the ideal [aka: totally fun and TV-less] mother. (You may have noticed I also never got around to posting anything on last week's fabulous theme, ahem, "Chores".)

This week I'm keeping my balance a little better. And that's what it is, balance. For me, last week was an imbalance of housework and kid-time. You've got your own attention teeter-totters pushing you to drop one thing in favor chasing after that unattainable, but oh so desirable, perfection on the other side. Well, rather than expecting to be practically perfect in every way , or even practically perfect in just one way (How I long to be Mary Poppins!), I'm allowing myself to be imperfect at everything. Crazy thought, I know. It's taking some practice, but I'm trying to improve in a broad range of duties rather than throwing everything I've got into excelling in one area of expertise.

The best part? In my practice eventually makes perfect efforts, hidden somewhere between the mostly clean house and the TV which is hopefully turned off, priceless miracles are happening. Miracles--like spontaneous hugs and kisses-- that remind me:

"I'd like to be the ideal mother, but I'm too busy raising my kids."

1 comment:

rich and steph said...

I am going to try the crayon thing. I have 5 kids and you think I would know that by now. How fun to do that!!!