Saturday, August 22, 2009

My #1 Parenting Trick

Well, #1 for this week, anyway. The week that Jeff was off slaying dragons and living in a dungeon at GenCon, I was saddled with the task of picking up my 2 children from vastly different locations each evening. My drive from work to home takes 45 minutes on average so getting to Zach by 5:30 was a challenge already. Miss Lisa lives just blocks from our home on the west side of our town. I work on the west side of the city of which we are a suburb- still on the north side but east vs west. So rush to get Zach by 5:30, then head across town to the east side of our town and fight serious traffic to get there before 6. Then get the kids home, dropping Christy off on our way, and throw dinner together. The only way to keep the kids happy during all that madness? SNACKS Everyday, I made sure to have a snack waiting in the car to feed Zach on the way to get Teagan and to feed Teagan on the way home. Then they would have a lighter dinner and we'd all have a pleasant evening. This week, Jeff is back. I forgot to tell him the trick. He did all the school transportation this week and did it without snacks. Which meant there were some cranky kids in his car. Unintentional experiment shows the importance of food in the tummy! I got to pick up Teagan at school yesterday and she was crushed that I hadn't brought a snack. And since she was tired and hungry after her full and busy school day, she fell apart a little. Whining, a few tears, constant nagging. Today, I went to Trader Joe's and stocked up on serious snack options. My plan is to bag them up and have ziploc bags available for Jeff or I to keep on hand for in-the-car snacks whenever needed. I've got brown-rice krispy marshmallow squares (healthy rice krispie treats), jelly candies (again, the healthier version of a jelly candy), fruit leather, dried fruit, raisins and other dried berry type fruits, cheese stick crackers, peanut butter crackers, ABC cookies. Also plan to hit Costco this weekend. They have a mango and berries dried fruit mix I want. And little mini bottles of apple juice (juice boxes don't work in a car). Plus little mini pepperoni- not for snacks but to add to these super easy pasta bowls that Teagan wolfed down from Trader Joe's. Toss in some mini-pepperoni and presto- complete meal! So my parenting tip... keep snacks handy. At home, we keep them easily accessible in a bin in a lower cabinet. Healthy options like applesauce, cereal bars (Trader Joe's variety), dried fruit, etc. I find that often, crankiness is due to being tired or hungry or tired and hungry!

10 comments:

Strange Mamma said...

This is great. I've been noticing that lately that Asher won't always let me know when he's hungry any more since he's too busy 'doing stuff'. But more often than not if he's cranky a quick snack will set him right again.

I'm going to have to try to get myself organized enough to try prepping a snack bin ahead of time, so there's not so much time spent when we're in the middle of stuff.

Eternal Lizdom said...

along with the snack bin, I admit that at home, we have a kid sized table in the living room for eating, projects, etc. I tend to leave a bowl of goldfish or craisins or something else that can easily be left sitting out so that it's always accessible...

Vodka Mom said...

Did you get a new outfit, too????

Wow, I LOVE it.

Flartus said...

This is often true for adults, too! At least, that's what I tell myself as I trudge up the stairs to the vending machines at work.

CK Lunchbox said...

AMEN! Five kids. Two days of driving. My sanity. Of course, because they knew I had snacks every 5 miles one of the bunch wanted something else to eat... and I was driving without another adult.

Teacher Tom said...

Trader Joes!

Eternal Lizdom said...

I totally *heart* Trader Joe's. Shop there about once a week...

Mary Ellen said...

Hey, I'd totally ride with you if you fed me snacks!

My sons used to get cranky and start acting up (for the most part) for these three things: Hungry, Tired, Have to Pee. I have no idea why, but that's the truth of the situation. I would send them to pee, against their will almost, and listen to them peeing buckets, thinking, WHY DON'T THEY JUST GO?? Same thing for hungry and tired.

Eternal Lizdom said...

ME... that's what happens to Teagan at night. She'll pee before bed but sometimes start to wake up around 10ish, whining, thrashing, crying. If I make her get up and potty- even amongst the tears- she'll be fine. If we try to just settle her down, she's back to tossing and thrashing and whining and crying within 30 minutes. She never wakes fully, either. But at least she doesn't wet the bed!

Lori said...

Liz,
If you're EVER leaving the school and realize you don't have a snack...let me know!!! I'm always happy to share, and we keep little packets of raisins, granola bars, pretzels, etc...in the kitchen. Please don't attempt to do the ride home without snacks...that's just asking for it!!! : )