This week part of Cecilia’s homework involved coming up with words that described herself using the letters in her name. The note to parents encouraged us to help them use reference books, like a dictionary or thesaurus. After digging through basement boxes for 20 minutes, I did manage to find a dictionary. It had that peculiar, but lovable, old book smell and Ce found it slow and laborious to use, but we worked through a number of words.
As it grew later and she grew more tired, she eventually gave up and I heard her say, “Alexa, how do you spell ‘considerate?’” I started to say something then stopped. Is there value in knowing how to use a dictionary? Of course. Is there more value for Cecilia in learning how to interact with and ask the type of questions an AI can respond to? Probably.
Later, I had a question for Alexa. “Alexa do you know how to do new math?” Sadly, she was just as confused as I am.
My girls are dessert fiends. They eat their share of cookies and brownies, but I’m always on the lookout for quick, easy desserts that satisfy that post-meal craving, but don’t load up on the sugar and empty calories. There’s a time for a big ice cream sundae or warm chocolate chip cookie as big as your face, but it’s not after every meal.
Truth be told, I definitely have a sweet tooth, too. My perfect dessert is something that satisfies, tastes great, feels like an indulegnce, but also might be sneakily healthy. This chia pudding hits a lot of those marks. It’s fast to make. Takes only one bowl. Tastes rich and satisfying. Can be almost endless customized with add-ins. And the kids love it.
Would you think any less of me if my lasting memory of our recent vacation to Prince Edward Island wasn’t the beautiful vistas, iron red roads or Anne Shirley’s Haunted Woods, but rather sitting down in some shaded grass and biting into a warm, flaky hand pie?
Just over the Confederation Bridge, there really is no excuse not to hit up this hidden gem both coming and going. It’s that good nd the perfect opportunity to get and stretch your legs after making it over the bridge.
How much do you let out the parental leash? How much autonomy do kids need? That’s a question loaded with all sorts of anxieties for today’s parent, especially when just about everything we consume is geared to grab our attention with clickbait headlines or crazy, edge-case scenarios. I don’t know. Organizing or dictating your life around the worst case scenario seems like a very stressful way to parent. I already consume enough wine.
Now, some questions are easy. Math homework? Short leash. Sharp knives, short leash. Practicing the trombone? Long, long leash, preferably in another room.
But what about the bus stop? Somehow, the bus stop has become the nexus of public and private parenting decisions. Do I wait with them? Do I drive them down to the bus stop? Do I pick them up?
On Friday, the girls walked home alone from the bus stop. It’s not exactly two miles. It’s not even two tenths of a mile (but there is a hill!) They were not kidnapped or harassed by strangers. They chatted quite happily and walked on the sidewalks. How do I know? Dash and I were watching from the window the entire time. You can let out the parental leash, but it doesn’t mean you have to drop it.
I can’t wait to see how they feel about walking home by themselves in January.
It’s easy to get lost in all the fitness data you can collect now during your workouts. Does anyone really need to know their power output when running? So far, I’m convinced most of it is just noise. Maybe interesting noise, but not really all that helpful in helping you get more fit or get more competitive.
Of course it’s not all junk data. Some of the data is helpful to track. I like to use two particular fitness tests, one for cycling and one for running, and tracking the resulting data from those tests really helps me judge my current fitness, any improvements, and just what I can expect in any upcoming races.
I have two hard and fast food rules. First, everything just tastes better in a tortilla. Second, anytime of day is good for breakfast. With two young kids and two working parents, breakfast for dinner is a common weeknight staple so when I saw the wild rice pancakes when flipping through Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow., I knew it would be one of the first recipes I would try.
We are still in a phase where we get reports from the kids on everything. Every slight. Every poke. Every prod.
Every good deed.
I’ve been trying to tell the girls that what’s important is the willingness to be kind, the intention, not the result or any acknowledgement you might get.
You can imagine the blank looks of incomprehension that I get.
Getting into the habit of being kind for itself, not for the expectation of a reward or recognition, but for the happiness of others, even your sister, is a better way to get through life. The world has a way of boomeranging back good feelings.
“But if I help her get dressed and don’t tell you, is she dressed?”
As always, I’m hoping for parenting lessons through osmosis. Planting seeds of kindness. Can’t hurt, right. It’s either that or open more wine.