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You Want to Eat What?

April 9, 2011 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

by guest blogger Robyn Swatsburg

“Mommy, can you buy a mango?”  A mango?  What does a mango looks like?  Can I buy a mango at Walmart?  And where did my four-year-old discover she loved mangos?  Preschool apparently.  Where do they come up with their ideas?  

So off I went in search of a mango.  At Walmart.   And lo and behold, Walmart does sell mangos.  Right there next to the apples.  How did I miss those before?   They are shaped like eggs, measure about the size of a soup can, and cost about $1.50 each. 

Now the next challenge.  How to eat a mango.  The preschool  teacher, I learned, peeled it and cut it with a knife.  I could do that.  I used a potato peeler and tried to cut it like an apple. No luck.  I discovered a very hard core inside.  Instead I shaved off slices. 

Yum.   I loved it, too.  Sweet and juicy.  And healthy.  “Mango’s are high in antioxidents,” Mommy.  How do they teach four-year-olds this stuff?

The greatest thing about a mango, I found, is that it can wait.  My goal to feed my family as much fresh fruits and veggies as possible contradicts my other goal to visit the grocery store as infrequently as possible.  So after the grapes, the bananas, and the berries are all gone, I still have the apples, oranges, and mangos in the fridge waiting to be eaten.  The mango.  Love it!  Another great idea from preschool.

Manners: Always in Style

April 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

by guest blogger Jennifer Goldsmith Cerra

The older I get, the harder it is to remember that I once was a child. Yes, I really was six, like our son Luke is now. He’s six in 2011; I was six in 1973. A simpler time, perhaps, compared to today, but let’s face it: while Elton John trilled Crocodile Rock, Walter Cronkite told us of Watergate, Vietnam, and inflation. Was I really six then? Yes. Today, Luke is growing up in an era of similar distrust of government, wars in progress, and economic challenge.

So while times change, they often stay the same.

Some things, however, are timeless. Values, empathy, caring for others. These important principles just don’t change in any decade. A recent trip to a local educational store brought that home – right into our home. Browsing the aisles, I spotted and bought a game called Mind Your Manners. Likely developed in the 1980s, this simple card game designed for kids 4 and up reinforces the importance of good manners at home and in public places.

Luke loves it. He asks us to play it every night. I like it because it’s the kind of game I can imagine my mom playing with me at that age.

The other night, Luke talked to my husband about something he’d learned from the game. “Daddy, you have to take your hat off when eating! That’s what I read on the card!” This is from a six-year-old who often likes silly Ace Ventura-type comedy gags (smelly though they may be!).

I guess you’re never too old – or too young – for good manners. In any year.

A real breakthrough, when I least expected it. Like a lot of moments in the parenthood journey, you take your opportunity when it presents itself, and are grateful for the chance.

A Master Sock Folder!

November 30, 2010 by  
Filed under J.Bright

One of my favorite parenting sayings is, Don’t get to stressed over any phase because it will be replaced by an equally maddening one! This is true for the challenging phases, but it’s also true for the good phases. And I’ve learned that there are so many wonderful good phases!

Right now, my son Tyler (age five) is in the sock-folding phase. He loves folding socks, and there’s never a shortage of socks to fold in this house! I try to wash one load of laundry each day to keep on top of the pile, and I fold the laundry after my sons go to bed. Our laundry room (closet really) is upstairs, outside my sons’ rooms, so I generally have company while folding the laundry. The past few days, Tyler has asked if I have any socks to fold and he cheerfully folds them all up. Then he proudly counts how many pairs he folded and yells the number down to his dad. What a fun phase this is!

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