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!