Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Re-Post: Food Coloring

My son loves oatmeal, but he especially loves oatmeal if it is purple (or blue, or orange...). I have noticed that when I add food coloring to food, my kids get really excited about eating it. So these pictures may look absolutely disgusting to you, but to my 5 year old they are a little bit of heaven.

We have talked about how mixing red and blue make purple, red and yellow make orange, etc. So that's a learning experience in and of itself. Oh, we also swirl food coloring into pancakes. We just put 5 or 6 drops in the batter at the very end, and stir two or three times (mix it any more and the pancakes just look dirty, not colorful). We have also done all things green on St. Patrick's Day, and all things yellow on a theme dinner night. Food coloring is pretty awesome. What do you add it to?

Midweek Pick Me Up
Are there days when you feel completely overwhelmed as a mother? Or maybe I should change that -- are there days you don't feel completely overwhelmed? I have days when I want to throw my hands up in the air, lock the kids in the bedroom, turn on Oprah and sit down on the couch with a carton of ice cream.

I read a book that Deneal gave me called "Confessions of an Unbalanced Woman" by Emily Watts. I certainly feel unbalanced frequently. On page one she talks about the day that she realized she needed to change something, when her pile of clean socks from the laundry was completely overwhelming her (5 kids + 1 husband = a ton of socks). She read a tip in a magazine saying to buy a whole bunch of the same kind of sock, so that there would never be more than just one extra sock. So she did just that: purchased a whole bunch of white tube socks for her boys. I'll quote from the book the rest of the story.
"After a couple of weeks, though, I realized that I couldn't bear to make the
meticulous child wear the same socks as the kid with the kind of stinky feet
who didn't really change his socks often enough anyway. Soon I found
myself matching those socks by gray-scale. This is no way to live
a balanced life. I knew the madness had to stop, but it was actually my
husband who pointed out the obvious solution to me. He looked me gently in
the eyes and said, "You know, honey, these kids are perfectly capable of
doing their own laundry." I'm embarrassed to admit that this had not even
occurred to me. I was the mom, and I had always operated under the
assumption that doing the laundry was the mom's job. And that was probably
true when the children were four and two years old, but now that they were
fourteen and twelve, and had several more siblings, it wasn't working so
well...So now we teach our kids to do laundry at quite a tender age."

This hits a nerve with me. How many things do I do just because I can do it better than my 5 and 3 year olds? They can certainly put their own clothes in the dirty clothes basket, even though I can do it faster. Also, I can't stand sweeping the floor. I have given that job to my 5 year old (my husband is the one who came up with this brilliant idea; I wouldn't have thought of it). He doesn't do a very good job yet, but he is getting better, and at least something is getting done. And now, it's one less thing on my plate, which is already overflowing anyway.

So I challenge you to do one thing this week to simplify, to lessen the overwhelming feeling, or to delegate. And then tell us about it, and how you felt afterward.


Christie said...

I hadn't read this before, great ideas, and great pick-me-up:) Thanks!

becca said...

just tonight i added food coloring to my daughter's yogurt. she was dressed up like a teletubbie, so i made her tubbie custard. we don't watch TT but have a costume. i'm so happy i stumbled onto this blog! i also feel overwhelmed most of the time. kiddos are 2yr and 10 months! it's getting better.

tara @ kidz said...

Excellent ideas, especialy the one about delegating - I definitely need to work on that! Love your site.

Trying to Stay Calm! said...

What great ideas! Thanks :) ♥ Hugs!