Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Sorry I missed last week. Have a wonderful holiday!
"We are among the first generation of self-conscious parents. Before us, people had kids. We parent."
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Last week my husband was away on a business trip for four days. Our kids were great the entire week. I have to say, setting daily up routines early in your child's life makes all the difference when you need your children to pull together and be independent. The only time that they seemed to get a little crazy was the night before my husband was coming home (they wanted to wait up for him - they didn't but they pushed the limits on bedtime). He came home at about 8:00AM on the red-eye. The kids were overjoyed but frenetic from the excitement of staying up so late the night before. After hugging the kids and sharing a few stories, my husband just crashed. Unfortunately, the kids and I were up for the day and it was really hard keeping three riled up kids calm and quiet in a small apartment. It was a gloomy, on and off rainy morning but even so, I knew I had to get them out of the house. So I rounded up my rowdy bunch and rushed them out concsiously allowing the children to skip minor hygenic tasks and not preparing for the possibility of being caught in the rain. In other words, they smelled, they were underdressed and noone had an umbrella or a raincoat. I never said I was supermom!
I knew the Upper West Side Apple Store had its grand opening day and I was hopeful that they would be giving away some nice freebies. Plus, I knew that there would be a kids computer game area that would keep them busy at least for a short while. As we walked over to the newest trendy business of the UWS, it began to drizzle. We approached the store and there was a long line of people and they were being admitted in a few at a time while they received a rectangualar box and cheers from the staff as they entered. As we watched the line it began to rain badly. We waited under a nearby awning. My kids began to incessantly complain that they were "starving" and wanted a lunch. Of course my two older children could not agree on where they wanted to eat and my 16 month old did his infamous, impatient yelp which indicated he wanted me to "get moving". I pointed out that they were handing out free stuff at the Apple store and it was worth it to get wet. It worked, and we got on line and let the the rain pelt us. As we approached the front of the line an Apple store employee handed us an umbrella and said "you can borrow this and we'll collect it on your way out." I gladly took the umbrella and we were thankful that we were close to the front. We quickly made it into the store and each received our door prize (a t-shirt). We enjoyed our time in the new, sheik establishment. We played with some games and it was nice to chat with some other neighborhood friends who had come to check out the fanfare.
When we were ready to leave we made our way to the front exit as we weaved in and out of the crowds and tv cameras recording the opening event. I was truly a bit frazzled from the morning but would be lying if I said "what if they didn't collect the umbrella" did not cross my mind. Sure enough, with my two older kids walking close to me and pushing a stroller, I made it out the door without anyone asking me to return the umbrella and luckily the rain had stopped. We began to walk up the block leaving the excitement of the apple store and were on our way to find something to eat. When we reached about half way up the block my oldest son exclaimed "Mom, you still have the umbrella! We were supposed to return it!" With a cross between embarassment and apprehension, I said "Oh wow...I forgot...thanks for reminding me..." At that moment, I knew I had a choice. I could have made up something like "They told me we could keep it." or "It's okay, they have plenty, they won't miss it". But my son's voice was so innocent and filled with righteousness. He was being honest, responsible and proud of it. How often did I preach these values to him? My child was putting into practice what I thought so often fell on deaf ears. I had an opportunity to honor these ideals, and that is what I did.
We walked back to the store and I made a point to tell one of the employees how my son is the one who noticed that I had "mistakenly" taken the umbrella. I secretly hoped the salesperson would let us take it anyway (remember a parents goal is to have your child be better than you!). She quickly took the umbrella, thanked us and then said to my son "thank you for doing the right thing" and handed him another t-shirt. "You see" she said, "doing the right thing has its rewards!" While the umbrella would have been nice and it was clear that the extra t-shirt was kind of a waste, my son did not care. He was proud. Proud that he did the right thing on his own and proud that someone knew it. That my friends, does a proud Mama make!
I reflected quickly on a sign one of my teaching colleagues had posted in her classroom: "Doing the right thing is hard, but it's right!"
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
FREE PARENTING ADVICE
Do you remember Lucy from the Peanuts Gang with her famous booth that said " The Psychiatrist Is In, 5 Cents"?
Pop by apple seeds on Saturday November 7th from 10:00am – 12:30pm and have your most pressing parenting questions answered by an expert (for free).
Sara Lise Raff (www.artsedconsultant.com) is an educator, artist, parent and creator of the blog "Ask The Educator". Sara answers parent’s questions weekly on her blog on all types of topics. They range from setting up at home, creating routines, understanding , developing reading and math skills with your child, parent/teacher communication, dealing with transitions and a myriad of concerns that parents face. Sara also facilitates various parent and teacher workshops for schools and cultural organizations throughout New York City . Sara will be stationed across from the apple seeds front desk. Come in and meet her!
apple seeds is a beautiful child enrichment facility with super programs, a boutique, a cute cafe filled with goodies for the kids and coffee for the adults!
Come down and ask away!