a peek inside the fishbowl

10 Jan, 2008

Three things: two small and one bigger thing to think about

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy|Misc. life|parenting

1) As I walked home from the gym, swinging my umbrella, I realized something. Baton twirling has virtually disappeared. What happened? Why aren’t there more twirlers out there? Do you think it would be hard to teach myself how to do it? I always liked the thought of coaxing a steel tube to fly out of my hand, to soar in the sky, only to be pulled back again by gravity and will… the rubber stoppers covering the ends mere symbols of protection. I imagine it’s pretty easy to knock yourself in the head.

2) Every other house has a Christmas tree out by the curb, stripped and ready for recycling. How fun would it be if a bunch of them …  oh, say a baker’s dozen – suddenly appeared on our front lawn, stuck upright in the remaining snowdrifts?

3) I wouldn’t call this a New Year’s resolution, but I decided that I would try to be more mindful of my children.

I talked to Mark about, and he’s taken on a new stance too. (Although stance might the wrong word here, as it implies something related to war, shoot-outs and old fashioned duels. This is not that. :) ) 

I think the best parenting advice I’ve ever read on the Internet went something like this:

When your children walk into the room, smile like a 100 watt lightbulb … and show them, by the expression on your face as well as your body language, that they are important to you.

I don’t know where I read it (does this sound familiar to anyone? I’d love to reread the original thread) but it makes sense. And it works.

Conversations with kids are tricky things. On one hand you feel like you need to use a crowbar to pry information out of them.

How was school?
Fine.
Did you learn anything new today?
I don’t remember.
How was lunch?
Good.
What did you do at recess?
Played.
Etc etc.

So when they do decide they want to talk, I now do my best to be mindful of the moment and try to remember that if they’re here, talking, it’s about something that is important to them. So I stop what I’m doing, turn around, smile a big “I’m so happy to see you” smile, and listen. And I ask a question to show that I’m listening.

Perhaps this all sounds contrived (and I know at least one person is rolling her eyeballs, thinking this is a bunch of modern-day hooey) but although it seems a little fake around the edges, I am doing this to establish better habits.

If they feel like I’m listening now, they’ll continue to want to share and talk to me later…  when the topic of conversation goes beyond rain puddles and broken umbrellas and wet socks.

And I’m not sure how this relates, but suddenly everything has gotten easier. Frustrations have fallen away, and I feel like a stronger person, who has chosen a path that is leading somewhere good.


13 Responses to "Three things: two small and one bigger thing to think about"

1 | Bob LeDrew

January 10th, 2008 at 10:32 am

Avatar

It’s not new-agey stuff at all. We are living in an era of “continuous partial attention”, where we can’t just write, we have to write while listening to the radio, checking e-mail, answering the phone, updating facebook, etc etc.

Look at teenagers — they don’t “watch TV” — they watch TV while texting, playing PlayStationPro, surfing the web, and talking on the phone.

Mindfulness is a VERY GOOD THING. The more we all do it, the better off we’d all feel — enjoy the walk on the new path.

2 | mel

January 10th, 2008 at 10:37 am

Avatar

Beautiful. And wouldn’t this be an astoundingly beautiful way to treat everyone in our lives?

3 | bethany actually

January 10th, 2008 at 11:20 am

Avatar

Best parenting advice I ever heard? “If you have time to read parenting magazines, you’re probably not paying enough attention to your kids.” :-)

I think mindfulness is a great way to start. It makes me calmer and happier when I am only trying to do one thing at a time. And really, how annoying is it to try to talk to someone who is only giving you half her attention?

Secret Agent Josephine pointed me here, and I had to laugh when I saw you live in Ottawa. I keep running into bloggers from Ottawa, but I never meet any in Toronto. Why is that? Anyway, I’m American but my husband and I lived in Ottawa (Sandy Hill) for two years in 1999-2001, and loved it there! It’s always nice to meet an Ottawan.

4 | Javamom

January 10th, 2008 at 11:36 am

Avatar

I have suspected for some time that getting information out of kids is kind of like pulling teeth.

Keeping in mind he’s only 2 and a half, nevertheless, he can SPEAK words. So why is it so hard to find out what he did in school today?

I tried at the dinner table.
I tried in the car.
I try randomly, like during making pipi in the potty or some other toilet training moment.

But obviously I’m trying too hard. Then, this happens:

He invites me to play lego after dinner. (Dishes can wait). All I had to do was accept. We were just making random conversation (“Mommy, what you making? – I’m making a Mr. Poopyhead who will be pooping in the toilet, want me to make a lego toilet? – Ok, mommy”).

Suddenly he says to me “mommy is a girl and I’m a boy”. I said “yes that’s right, where did you learn that?”.

Reply: “At school”. (which is actually a Montessori daycare).
“Teacher said mommy = girl”.

Now I know what they taught him…

PS I saw baton twirlers at our local Santa Claus parade. There were about 10 girls in the parade ranging in ages of about 10-mid-teens.

5 | DaniGirl

January 10th, 2008 at 12:43 pm

Avatar

I think this is something I do pretty well (it’s always nice to find something you’re not screwing up about your kids, isn’t it?) The problem is that more than once recently, one of the boys has tried to engage me in what is to them a very serious topic at 6:30 in the morning while I’ve got my coat on and the bus is at the corner. Or, it’s 6:30 in the morning and I’m praying they’ll go back to sleep so I can, too. It’s like they choose those moments on purpose!!

Seriously, though, I remember my mom sitting in “her” chair when I got home from school, book in her lap but her attention on me, showing me that I was free to sit and chat as much or as little as I wanted. It’s a comforting memory.

I find bedtime good for this. The books get read, boys are tucked, kisses and cuddles are shared, and either Beloved or I will lie in bed with them for just a few minutes in the darkness, letting whatever comes to them burble up. Often, it’s nothing, but we’ve had some great conversations whispering in the dark.

6 | andrea

January 10th, 2008 at 1:23 pm

Avatar

lol – yes Dani, you’re right. The kids have a sixth sense sometimes. They want to have a nice little chat when you’re in the biggest hurry.

Maybe the best thing we can do in this case is ask the kids to tell you – ha, in five words or less – what they want to talk about, and then you remind them about it later when you’re settled in the comfy chair. :)

7 | Julie

January 10th, 2008 at 3:11 pm

Avatar

What a fabulous reminder of my job as a mother – to make sure my children feel safe and loved. It’s so easy to forget the things that are most important when you are busy dealing with things that are less important (school lunches, playdates, bills, etc…). Reminders are good.

8 | Julie

January 10th, 2008 at 3:12 pm

Avatar

PS. I think the Christmas tree idea is very witty. Do it!

9 | Chantal

January 11th, 2008 at 10:09 am

Avatar

I think that is a great thing. My hubby and I are mindful to do that with our kids every day. It is nice to know that other parents are thinking and feeling the same way. I know it makes a difference. It really does.

10 | MomOnTheGo

January 15th, 2008 at 12:19 pm

Avatar

I like the word mindful. I say that I am trying to live an consciously but mindful is good, too, in contrast to mindless. When we speak to someone on the phone, we know when they start reading. I wonder why we fool ourselves that our kids don’t know when we tune out, even just to think of what to make for supper. A good post for the new year.

On the small thing, I was a majorette in a little band in a little town when I was growing up. Maybe big cities and small bands don’t go well together.

11 | BandarUsernesia

April 26th, 2022 at 8:57 am

Avatar

you can find not many gambling sites in Dalam negri that can hold the
title since the finest slot gambling site.

One of all of them is BandarUsernesia. This site presents numerous types of slot machine gambling games
from well-known providers this kind of as Pragmatic Play, Habanero Systems, Microgaming, and so upon for slot gambling
fans in Philippines.

With a fantastic image display and sharp and attractive colors, BandarUsernesia has
been successful in providing typically the maximum online gambling experience for its loyal customers.
Not in order to mention the extraordinary additional bonuses and promos that will you can get on many events.

The more usually you play, the greater your chance associated with
getting these promotions and bonuses.

BandarUsernesia is equipped along with unique features of which are
prepared in order to keep players comfy who are attached to this site every day.
Are as follows.

Complete Game
Though it is more commonly known as a web based
gambling slot internet site, BandarUsernesia also
gives other types associated with gambling games this kind of as soccer gambling, casino gambling, online poker, and many
other exotic gambling online games that you can find on this site.

12 | bukausernesia

May 5th, 2022 at 2:39 pm

Avatar

USERNESIA: Official Alternative Link to Usernesia Website

Determing the best and most trustworthy location to play
online gambling is now the key requirement if
you need to be successful in this business. It doesn’t
matter what game you play, be it soccer wagering, lottery
gambling, online casino gambling, online slots or even cockfighting.

If you can’t choose a reliable gambling site, then you
will end up in failure.

Therefore, it is very important for those of you who are fresh to the online gambling industry to
understand what requirements a site must meet so that it can be said to be the best and most
trusted online gambling site.

Provide an Official License
The first and most important thing so that you can pay attention to is the state permit ownership
of the online gambling site that you will make as a partner to play gambling online.

This established license is resistant which a site has guaranteed service and is able to provide what players
expect in accordance with international online wagering standards.

Complete & Quality Game
Associated with course you want to play on a gambling site that has complete games.
That way, you no longer need to look for other gambling places to obtain the game
you want. Not only complete, the games provided must also be
of high quality and have used the latest technology.

13 | Agendepo168

May 6th, 2022 at 4:01 am

Avatar

Indonesia’s Trusted and Recognized Online Slot Broker
Agendepo168 is the best trusted slot machine game agent which was licensed by PAGCOR in Indonesia.
Agendepo168 will be also supported by the completeness associated with slot bookies that
will curently have an official Malta Gaming permit and several permits in other countries.
Agendepo168 who functions as a trustworthy real money online slot machine game
agent that assures paying all associate wins and offers
the best services.

comment form:

Archives

Stay in touch



Me and my pet projects

Ottawa Bucket list

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


  • Jinjer @ Intrepid Arkansawyer: Hiya! I'm still reading you! Love your blog SO MUCH!
  • Agendepo168: Indonesia's Trusted and Recognized Online Slot Broker Agendepo168 is the best trusted slot machine game agent which was licensed by PAGCOR in Indones
  • bukausernesia: USERNESIA: Official Alternative Link to Usernesia Website Determing the best and most trustworthy location to play online gambling is now the key
  • BandarUsernesia: you can find not many gambling sites in Dalam negri that can hold the title since the finest slot gambling site. One of all of them is BandarUser
  • andrea tomkins: Hmmm. I will try it!
  • andrea tomkins: Good to know! Thanks Jenn!
  • Jenn Hagen: I like the PlantNet app for ID purposes - there is a Cdn version. Gives habitat info and uses your photos to help ID. I’ve not checked if it does ?

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!

 


Connect with me at these places too!

On the nightstand

All hail the mighty Twitter