Preschool Years at Home

Laughing, Loving, and Learning Together

Friday Fun … or The Lack Thereof

on October 19, 2012

Fridays are supposed to be *fun* days. Granted, we try to have fun every day, but Fridays are reserved for games, projects, going places, and doing stuff that’s extra special. So when Little Bear’s weekly speech therapy session got rescheduled for today, I decided I’d some cinnamon rolls in the oven and let her wake to a yummy treat.

In hindsight, this was a Really Bad Idea. None of us are morning people, and today’s speech therapy appointment required us to be clothed, fed, and out of the house before the girls are usually even awake. Wake them up an hour early, and they don’t want Mommy in the kitchen. They want Mommy in the living room, cuddling them, rocking them, and helping them wake up.

What’s more, I’m not the Pioneer Woman. In my world “baking cinnamon rolls” means opening a can. Since most refrigerated doughs are pumped full of chemicals and I’ve got a chemically-sensitive child, we rarely “bake cinnamon rolls.” But I spied an unfamiliar brand on sale last week, saw that they were free of the demon dye Red #40, and threw them in the shopping cart.

Someday, I will learn *not* to try reading labels while simultaneously trying to corral an overly-stimulated 4-year-old and trying to keep a 1-year-old from diving head first out of a shopping cart. While that $1.50 can of cinnamon rolls did not contain Red #40, they did contain its evil twin Yellow #5.

Too little sleep, too much sugar, + petroleum-based food additives = DISASTER!

By 5 p.m., I was putting dinner on plates and planning on an early bedtime. Then we sat down to eat, and Little Bear quietly said, “We’ve had a bad day, haven’t we Mommy?”

“It’s definitely been a rough one,” I replied. “Why do you think that is?”

“Because I’ve made a lot of bad choices,” she said sadly, as she half sat, half stood on her chair, balancing precariously on one knee and spilling more rice than she managed to get into her mouth.

I started to agree with her … but I didn’t.
I started to tell her to sit on her bottom … but I didn’t.
I started to tell her yet again to eat her rice with her spoon instead of her fork and to keep her mouth over her plate … but I didn’t.

Instead, I reached out and took her hand; and as she abandoned her dinner to climb up in my lap for a hug, I realized that on this, the day when I most “needed” to send her to bed, she most needed to reconnect.

She didn’t choose to have a “bad day.”
She didn’t willfully spiral out of control.
She didn’t enjoy being tired and out of sorts.
She was still my sweet girl. She wanted to please me, to be accepted by me, to be assured yet again that she was loved unconditionally.

… And so we ended our “disaster” of a day with bubble baths and a craft project. Yes, she was still bouncing around like a jumping bean on an adrenaline high. She fell off her stool at least four times and knocked the table over once, but she had fun. She completed a task successfully. And most importantly, we reconnected.

Cupcake fairy creation …

The finished project …

Baby Bear joins in the fun …

Their cupcake fairies finished, both girls climbed up in my lap for bedtime stories and good night cuddles. There, Little Bear fell asleep, still clutching her creation.

Here’s hoping that a good ending to the day and a good night’s sleep usher in a better day tomorrow.


One Response to “Friday Fun … or The Lack Thereof”

  1. Debbie Olson says:

    I’m proud of you, Julie, truly. I’m about to cry after reading it, but, hey–that was a really good post!

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