So sorry to anyone who has to sit next to me on a plane.
It used to be so easy for me to fly that I could fall into such a deep state of sleep, I’d wake up drooling on the kind yet disgusted stranger next to me. I’m now the one being drooled on, as I have a series of hidden panic attacks with every jiggle of the plane (and non-jiggles, because it means a big one is coming).
What changed? I had a baby.
Mortality wasn’t a big topic in my inner dialogue until I became a mom. Control has always been a headline in my life — I like control. My need for control, coupled with my newfound preoccupation with mortality, has equaled mayhem when flying in a metal death trap.
Before arriving at the airport, I now take screenshots of statistics to assure me the metal death trap I drive in is much more dangerous than the one I fly in. But I have control over the car. I obsess over those screenshots until my conscious mind is convinced that flying is safe, statistically.
Tid bits I shared for an article on “blissful childbirth.”
The tension–or relaxation–in your facial muscles have a direct correlation to your pelvic region. Throughout labor, periodically place your awareness on softening the muscles in your face and allowing your lower jaw to droop down- this will cause your pelvic region to gently relax and open. If you need extra inspiration, ask your partner for a juicy kiss.
Your breath is the surest path to serenity and pain relief (for both you and baby) throughout childbirth. With each contraction, focus on slowly and fully inflating your abdomen with oxygen and exhaling to the same slow and full count. In between contractions, practice intentional and gentle breathing.
Transitions are hard, especially when you’re a toddler. But, what if the hard edges of transition could be softened with a little song? That’s what I’ve started to infuse into my two-year-old son’s daily life- my off-key not-so-creative made-up tunes. Shockingly, he positively responds to my not-so-melodious ditties and has ceased throwing a tantrum when I announce that it’s time to transition from play time to nap time… and the toys need to be cleaned up.
Here are a few samples from my repertoire:
Clean Up Time- “Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere. Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share.” OK, I didn’t make this one up- thanks Barney!
Nap Time- “Now it’s time to take a nap, take a nap, take a nap. Now it’s time to take a nap and have a little dream. Yawwwwn.”
Bath Time- “It’s time to scrub, scrub, scrub our hair, scrub our hair, scrub our hair. Now it’s time to scrub our hair and make it so clean!”
Lunch Time- “Let’s eat eat eat our lunch, eat our lunch, eat our lunch, let’s all eat our lunch and make our tummies sing!”
If my son starts singing the clean up song (and actually starts cleaning up) it’s a dead giveaway that he’s then going to ask for some ice cream or a movie, or both.
While all this singing has made life in my home easier, I was happy to discover that it’s also stimulating my son’s mental development. First 5 California (a free trusted online resource to help parents give their children the best possible start to life) has recently launched a Talk. Read. Sing ® campaign encouraging parents to talk, read, and sing to their children, specifically in the first five years of life.
According to First 5 California, “90% of a child’s brain develops in the first five years of life. The primary factors influencing this brain development are daily experiences, parent responsiveness, nutrition, physical activity, genetics, and love. Many of the actions that cause a child’s brain to light up are eating, hugging, playing, singing, sleeping, touching, talking, drawing, crying, reading, crawling, and walking.”
First 5 California offers fun ideas for how to incorporate more talking, reading, and singing into your kiddo’s life (for those days when you’re running on three hours of sleep, accidentally bought decaf coffee, and can’t remember where your shoes are, much less how to actively stimulate your child’s brain.) Check it out! My fave is ‘Make Your Own Music.’
All my singing usually leads into plenty of gabbing, and while my son may tire of my verbal stream of consciousness, First 5 California has informed me that all of these words are good for my little one. They report that, “research shows the more parents talk with their children, the larger vocabularies those children develop. So, use everyday moments – in the car, at the grocery store, during bath time – to talk to your child and teach her about the world around her. A child’s most intensive period for absorbing speech and language skills is during her first three years of life. These skills develop best in a world that is rich with sounds, sights, and consistent exposure to speech.”
I’m making the commitment to myself, my son, (and you!) to actively infuse more talking, reading, and singing (and not just for transitions!) into my time with my little dude on the daily.
How do you talk, read, and sing to your children every day? I’m always seeking new ideas!
I recently had the fortune of rediscovering my fascination with how our world works. Science has an incredible ability to ignite a deep appreciation for the simple yet complex workings of our surroundings and inner world.
Where did this renewed zest for all things science come from you ask? Well lemme tell you. I was sent a simple experiment by the kind people over at Banooper, who are dedicated to “bringing science home”- providing a fun bonding activity for families (with plenty of learning snuck in there!) Kind of like those brownie recipes that call for a secret helping of spinach.
Banooper has an array of activities pulled from different areas of science- I was sent a ‘Vision Science’ experiment called Benham’s Disks. It explores (and explains) the way our eyes perceive color. We were provided a few patterned disks, wooden pins (to facilitate the spinning of the disks), a maker (my son’s favorite part) to draw our own pattern, and an instruction and explanation booklet (that was short, sweet, and simple, which this sleep-deprived mom greatly appreciated.)
My two-year-old was too young to appreciate the magic of the inner-workings of our eyes, but my five-year-old and nine-year-old nieces were fascinated by the process of discovery.
Another plus was that this experiment came in a small box and did not call for flour, glue, glitter, or any other fabulous yet exhausting common science experiment ingredient.
Next experiment, homemade volcano? Maybe when Nana is babysitting.