A Cookie Riff

happy cookies AtaraKatz

Photo: Atara Katz

 

He shook his head

At jam and bread

Objected to any other

Kind of spread

And lectured mommy

From his seat

That cookie’s the only

Thing to eat.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Trademarked Children

kids on dock OsnatHalperinBarlev

Photo: Osnat Halperin Barlev

 

“She is a stubborn one,” her mother claims. “Screams bloody murder when she doesn’t get her way.”

“He is our difficult child,” the father sighs. “I guess every family has one.”

“This one is the lovey-dovey twin,” the grandma declares. “Her sister? She’s the total opposite. Wriggly worm, that one.”

“He’s Mister Independent,” the foster mother says, “Won’t let anyone help him with anything.”

“He’s the lazy one,” the teacher complains. “If he can get away with not doing something, I bet you he won’t do it.”

“She’s the fighter,” the nanny imparts, “bossy as they come.”

Surely she is more than stubborn. Surely he’s not always difficult. Surely there are times she does not want to cuddle and when her twin sister relaxes into hugs. Surely sometimes he wishes to be helped. Surely he is not just lazy. Surely there are situations where she does not want to fight.

Children listen to our words, and the tone we say them. They internalize our attitudes of them and all too often identify with the boxes we sort them into. Let us take heed, for what we stamp children as, they might live up to without knowing there are many more hues in the palette of what they are and can become.

 

 

For The Daily Post

“Just a Little Bit of Crumbs”

 

It was a few minutes before dinner.

He wanted a cookie.

His mother said the timing wasn’t great. He’ll have to wait. Can get one for dessert.

He frowned. His lips turned down in a pout but puckered in consideration as his eyes inspected the contents of the transparent cookie jar.

“But maybe I can taste it now,” he bargained. “Just a teeny tiny cookie, like this,” he pointed to a broken piece at the bottom of the jar. “You see, Mama? Just a little bit of crumbs …”

 

 

 

For The Daily Post

She couldn’t wait …

 

kindergarten shoes1

Photo: Pinterest

 

She went to sleep in her pink sparkle cupcakes pajamas but when her parents checked on her later at night, they found the five-year-old wearing her new uniform over it, down to the knee socks and shiny Mary-Janes, arms around her schoolbag.

“She’ll be all wrinkled in the morning,” Mom sighed.

“Leave her be,” Dad smiled. “We can iron out the creases in her clothing but I sure won’t want to smoothe out any of her excitement.”

 

 

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Magnetized

alma sees pool

Photo: Osnat Halperin-Barlev

 

Like fish to water she is drawn.

The sparkling blue calls,

Its promise

An irresistible

Invite.

She rushes,

Determinedly

Entranced.

 

Her mother after

Hurries,

Magnetized,

To stop

The captivated

Little one

Before she falls.

 

 

 

For The Daily Post

Lollipop-it

So there’s that child with diabetes. Another whose family only eats raw foods. A third family is strictly vegan. There’s the child who cannot have any food additives. The one whose mom swears sugar turns her angel to a dysregulated mess. The (not so rare) kid who won’t touch fruits, let alone vegetables. The family that wants to move toward less junkfood but hates to put a damper on healthy treats.

There are many different solutions, and different reasons why many would want to try. As you probably know (and fairs and carnivals had proven), most yummy things are instantly better on a stick …

Here are some of the creative ideas parents have shared with me and/or I had suggested over the years. Some we have incorporated into the session (for sequence, cause/effect, before/after, all manners of narrative), others helped desensitize finicky mouths and tender palates. Mostly, they were fun! Enjoy and maybe share own!

  1. Watermelon lollipops! Less mess, better grip, perfect yum.

Watermelon lollies

 

  1. Kiwi lollipops! Good with chocolate ganache, of course … but also as ‘naked’ frozen slices, or if dipped in sweetened yogurt and frozen, possibly with coconut flakes or cocoa nibs.
Kiwi Lollies

via showfoodchef

 

  1. Flower Fruit Pops – fun to make and super fun to eat. Cantaloupe, grapes, watermelon (also works with strawberries, apples, nectarines, firm blueberries … you get the idea!)
flower fruit pops1

Via LindsayAnnBakes

 

  1. Easy Fruit Pops! For another variation on the theme, which works wonderfully for birthday parties, picnics, and other lessen-sticky-fingers-everywhere events.

fruit pops

 

  1. Veggie wands! For a savory alternative on a stick! Works well with ’rounds’ of sliced mozzarella stick, fresh mozzarella (pictured), or any firm cheese. Just as yummy with the whites of hard boiled eggs or cubed cooked meat. Also great with baked tofu cubes, for those who prefer vegan sticks.
sugarfreekids pop

via SugarFreeKids

 

  1. And … even the most incomplete list won’t work without frozen pops … Lollipops’ cool cousin! Make them with fruit, fruit and yogurt, and combinations galore! It works well to partially freeze in small paper cups or in old fashioned ice-cube-trays, then stick a craft stick or lollipop stick in when it is almost but not quite set.
frozen fruit yogurt

Via: Moncheriprom

 

As this list is by no means comprehensive, let alone exhaustive … Will you take a moment to share in the comments what your favorite ways and things are to lollipop-it?

 

 

 

For The Daily Post

Dish Dash

greek handbroom

She walked into the house to a flurry of activity: broom in one set of hands, brush in the other. Guilty faces. Unidentifiable smell.

“What…?”

“He started.”

“She told me!”

The woman narrowed her eyes and scanned the room. The counter looked okay. No scorch marks. No splatter on the stovetop and walls like the last time when they had experimented with tomato lava. A foot in pink sock moved in the periphery of her vision and she lowered her gaze to the floor: the toes had attempted to nudge away a white bit of something. Paper?

She sniffed. What was that smell. She knew it from someplace … reminded her of dusty flea markets. Like old ceramics. Ceramics? Ceramics!

The distance to the garbage pail was covered in one giant step, arm already extended to reveal … a heap of shards, jagged shiny white, all sizes.

To the cabinet, still unbelieving: Bowls, mugs, cups. A suspiciously bare corner.

Little feet shuffled, oh so guilty.

There were no plates in the sink. None in the dishwasher.

“What have you done?”

They spoke over each other. “He did it She told me to We had a Greek wedding …”

“…so we had to break the plates,” the younger one emphasized with more hope than conviction. Even at not-quite-four-years-old he knew he was in trouble.

As for the seven-year-old? No added confirmation was required beyond how this child who disappears whenever there’s anything resembling cleaning up, had gotten herself voluntarily busy with the broom.

She shook her head, too stunned to truly feel angry. Yet.

“Where’s your big sister?” The fifteen-year-old was supposed to be watching the younger ones. She better have an explanation!

Chins tilted in the direction of the basement. Eager to shift blame. Muffled sounds filtered through the closed door. She listened. The tune was eerily befitting.

“Doing what?”  … even though she already knew the answer.

The little one piped up. “She watching big fat Greek one wedding!”

 

 

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Meddling

cherry tomatos

 

It took a full sixty seconds before she could get hold of her giggles long enough to tell me why she called.

“What’d he do now?” I smiled.

You see, she has a four-year-old and an 18 months old. Both precious. One precocious.

The preschooler omits some speech sounds and makes a salad of most others. He knows what he wants to say (and has much to impart from dawn to evening), but the production message from his brain to mouth muscles doesn’t always come through organized. We’ve been working on improving motor planning and sound production, and he’s been making steady progress. He is a studious little dude and follows instruction well enough, but what he really adores is experimenting: With his father’s shaving cream and his mother’s makeup, with his little brother’s haircut and diaper-rash cream, with words and their meaning.

“I was making him a salad,” the mom hiccupped, still not quite over her laugh-a-thon, “and silly me, I thought I could slip in a tomato.”

I grinned. Silly indeed … This boy loves some vegetables … but he is also the kid who declared “tomatoes are mean because they look like cherries but they taste yucky.”

“So, he takes one look at the plate and shakes his finger at me, saying ‘Mommy, I told you five times already. Why you meddling my dinner?'”

 

 

For The Daily Post

Father Kindness

fathering

Photo: C. Moriah-Gibor

 

Be a father to the vulnerable

Guide the path of those who need

A lift

A helping hand.

Be a father to those seeking

To find shelter

Who need help to

Understand.

Show the way.

Provide

Kind counsel.

If by biology or presence

Be the best

Model

You can.

For it is by kindness

That fathering

Takes hold

And

Grows children

Strong

In body, heart

And mind.