No matter the holiday, no matter the season, no matter the dessert spread, my Mom will always choose the cookies first. Chewy oatmeal raisin or chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are her favorite. I’ve taken to stocking the freezer with frozen cookie dough so I’ll always have them on hand when she visits.
It was Michelle’s birthday yesterday and I was thinking about time. And the lessons we can learn from kids and the lessons we can teach them.
Birthdays to the young are huge and momentous. They are anticipated and planned with all the focus and energy we wish they’d put into learning new math.
For parents, our birthdays are…maybe not as special. We’ve been through it all so many times before.
A parent’s relationship with time is different. Kids have such a limited sense of time. They can be arrogant about time just through sheer ignorance. But adults can also be too dismissive because we are just too comfortable.
Maybe we can help each other appreciate it. Not to wish away minutes in a rush to get older and not to simply let it slip from our grasp.
Why should the kids get all the home baked treats? With all the dog food recalls recently, it’s easy to forget that making simple, nutritious homemade dog biscuits for your furry friend is easy and usually involves just five or six pantry ingredients.
Why pay six, seven, eight dollars or more for organic, natural dog biscuits when you can make a batch of your own in less than a half hour that easily avoids preservatives, strange ingredients, fillers, and harmful chemicals?
Parenting is not one size fits all and I’m guessing each family has their own rules. Maybe your family embraces hot glue guns and Perler beads. Maybe you don’t. I would also guess that even different families and parenting styles share at least one thing in common: self-discipline. A simple rule that starts in childhood but goes far beyond.
Cecilia had to do extra math this week and she had a theater show. Both events required discipline and self control. Learning and practicing new formulas. Memorizing lines. Dealing with the ups and downs and Dad feedback of learning something new.
But how do you teach discipline? I’m not sure you can. Not like the distributive property. But you can be an example. You can control yourself. Show them how to do it, don’t just tell them. Easy to say but harder to do sometimes, but showing by example is a lot easier than enforcement. Or vacuuming up every last bit of cosmic glitter.
Is a Billy bookcase or Ikea’s Knada bread mix easier to put together? Which tastes better?
If you’re going to Ikea just for the flat-packed furniture, and bypassing the food, you’re missing out on half the experience. One dollar ice cream, cinnamon rolls, lox, meatballs, free drinks. A stop at the Ikea cafe is the cherry on top of the Swedish shopping spree.
But could you bring a little bit of that bistro goodness home and bake it up in your own oven?
Ally pulled out my old trumpet this week. She’s done this occasionally in the past but really stuck with it this week. Each day she’d pull it out and march around the house, playing. Or pretending to. Or trying to. She is surprisingly good at getting a natural sound out, but it’s… a bit unrefined. She has no problem with volume however.
By the third day, I started to step in and offer help. I could show her scales, look up lessons on YouTube, or help with her posture. Then I stopped. She was happy. She was learning in her own way. She was enjoying herself. What else really mattered? There would be plenty of time for tone, proper finger position, and breathing exercises. There was no need for efficiency, or optimization, or Dad’s critiques. Not yet.
Help them find what they love even if it might threaten your long-term hearing.
For the past year, I’ve been happy to act as my local bread baking phone-a-friend. I was the Butterball hotline of beginner bread baking tips and questions. It was great to see so many people take the quarantine time to dive into bread baking and discover it’s not all that difficult, in fact, it’s quite easy and quite rewarding, to baking a beautiful loaf of homemade bread that easily beats any soft, rubbery disc you might find at the food store.
These are the beginner bread baking tips, advice, and questions I answered the most in the past year. Do these simple, basic things right and you’re well on your way to being a successful home bread baker.