Monday, January 26, 2015

The Five Hidden Joys of Parenting

There are lots of things to treasure as a parent.  Number one being your child, of course!  But amid all the grumbing about lost sleep and discipline problems with tweens (and I'm conviced tweenhood starts at six), parents sometimes forget to mention a few other perks.  I'm here to correct that situation.  Here are some things parenting allows you to rediscover that you might have forgotten.

1. Blanket forts.  Need I say more?  
Do you guys remember the meme about "I've decided not to be an adult.  If anyone needs me I'll be in my blanket fort...coloring"?  I "liked" the heck out of that post.  Because I adore blanket forts.  And I think we all secretly do.  Now when I make them for Juliette I treasure getting in there with her and ejoying the filtered light.  It's a little cocoon from the outside world. Check out some of the amazing forts in this link. This one has to be my favorite.

2. Watching "kid movies" as much as you want
I've always watched so-called kid movies.  Harry Potter and Finding Nemo were some of my faves even before I had a child.  I consider myself lucky though to continue discovering new films because of my daughter.  I don't know that I would have rushed out to see Paddington but I'm glad we saw it because it's actually a beautifully filmed work of art.  Yes, I did say that a movie about a bear is a work of art!  The colors and whimsical objects and images are really gorgeous and whisk you off to a warm and cozy world.  I would love to live in their house filled with jewel tones of red and blue and yellow.  
link to original website

And thanks to my mom, we are now the proud owners of Despicable Me and the sequel.  Steve Carell's voicework as Gru kills me, and there are some priceless moments in these films.  Juliette and I love remembering the dialogues!

3. Coloring
Who said coloring was just for kids? When Juliette started scribble-scrabbling at about age 2, I would color with her. I soon remembered how calming it could be to just doodle and use markers to fill in a space.  I find myself  encouraging her to do coloring because it's a nice sit-down activity when I'm tired, and I can feel it soothing me.  It's no wonder that adults are getting into coloring too now with their very own books.  Instead of Disney princesses you can find more complex floral or architectural images.  So grab your markers and go!

4. Eating plain meals
Several parents have mentioned that once they had kids, they felt less guilty about eating pasta and ham on a regular basis.  And it's true.  Way to exploit your child's finnicky tendancy into stress-free easy-to-prepare meals for you!  They call them comfort foods for a reason, and if your kid actually finishes her meal for once, that's bonus points!

5. Enjoying quiet moments
Though "quiet" and "children" don't always seem to be words that go together, having kids is sometimes an opportunity to stop and smell the roses (because your toddler is walking so slowly and dilly-dallying anyway).  I've visited the duck ponds in my city much more often since Juliette was born.  And in the process I've treasured some quiet moments of nature watching or caught some lovely sunsets.  And though bedtime can be a rushed and hectic part of the day, winding down in my little girl's bed with a story read in hushed tones can lull me into a reverie.   Not to mention take me back to my own childhood.

Winter sunset at the duck pond.

Can you think of any other benefits to reliving childhood through your child's eyes?  What are your guilty pleasures that some might say are reserved for kids?  Go ahead, do it.  I sure won't tell anyone.


Jenenz said...

I always loved playing Barbies or other dolls with E. Pretending and making up stories is fun. Yes, Barbie can fly a spacecraft and cure any ailment, or bake a delicious cake. She can apparently time travel too.

I loved reading kid jokes to E. Puns and knock knock jokes are fun. Q: What do you use to glue together ice? Answer: Igloo.

And just making up songs. You can make up a song about anything.

Playing hide and seek or Duck Duck Goose in the house.

And the best was building with Legos.

There's so much more! Thanks for bringing back wonderful memories!

Mil said...

I have to agree to all of those! Especially getting to play with Lego and Playmobil.

I Say Oui said...

I'd like to ride a carousel, but I need to find a kid to do it with.

I Say Oui said...

Oh, and I also enjoy skipping.

Holly Hollyson said...

The colouring thing - definitely! And then there is lego and dinosaurs and Barbies and doll houses and children's stories - all excellent! Oh and melt beads!