Hi Reader 👋 -
Happy Thursday. I had dental surgery this week and the only good thing about that is ice cream for dinner (Not that excuses are needed. Ice cream for dinner is always ok.)
I was sedated so my spouse had to drive me to/from the dentist's office and then pick up a bunch of special (soft) food. I spend so much of my life taking care of other people — my kids — that it's kind of a strange feeling to receive care.
I know a lot of people with really young kids right now. Little kids are sick all. the. time. and it can feel impossible to get any productive work done. Someone I know lamented that weekends used to be his creative time and now that's just... gone.
I remember those days and I sympathize. My spouse and I finally developed a system: on Satudays, he had time to himself until 9:30 am. Sundays were my turn. But even then, it felt like there were always distractions and I never accomplished anything during my time to myself.
It does get better. Kids get older. They become more self-sufficient. Your time alone does return.
I've been on the receiving end of epic tantrums, as I'm sure most parents have been. The hardest (for me) was watching a kid spiral out of control and then try do decide the next course of action. Ignore them? Send them to their room?
The meditation app Headspace has age-appropriate breathing exercises for kids, including Monster Meditations, a collaboration with Sesame Street.
The short 5-ish minute meditations have worked wonders with my youngest. I'll ask her if she wants to do a Monster Mediation and, through her sobs, she'll usually say yes. By the time the video is over, she's calmed down.
I always say that parenting is like the tv show Survivor: Outwit, Outplay, Outlast. And I'll do anything I can to make things easier.
When my oldest son started losing teeth, I could quickly tell that the tooth fairy was going to become the bane of my existence. So the tooth fairy left my son a note. She said that she is so overworked and tired, so she makes an offer to very special children. If they agree, she will skip all visits and then when the last tooth is lost, she'll leave $20.
All three of my children have taken her up on her offer. And my 13-year-old (who now, obviously, does not believe in the tooth fairy) still came to collect his $20. And I gladly paid it.
- Marie Kondo's life is messier now — and she's fine with it | Washington Post
- The Anxious Style of American Parenting | Anne Helen Peterson
- When a Leap Is Too Much | me, blog
That's it for this issue of Tinkering! See you again in two weeks.
Anna Burgess Yang
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