So I’ve been taking “Creative Writing 101” at the college for about a month now, and I’m learning new things as much as my imagination is being stretched in new ways. One of our “journal entries” this week was to make something we do every day more interesting, or turn an ordinary day into an extraordinary day. I chose to “keep it real”, as the Millennials would say (though I may be using that phraseology wrong, and I say this as “one of them”).
I chose to talk about my daughter, who is a great source of inspiration, and came up with a sort of how-to article. Motherhood isn’t always fun (there’s just no way to put a bow on a poopy diaper and call it a present), but there are many ways to make bath time, feeding time, etc., more fun. I chose feeding time because it’s my favorite time of the day.
Feeding your child can become very routine, but there are seven ways I’ve found to make feeding my daughter more of an experience for the both of us. (By the way, it’s often easier to throw them into the bath afterward than try to keep them clean while eating.)
1. Feed your child new things (experiment with different kinds of fruits and vegetables) on a regular basis. However, don’t be a picky eater yourself, because if she doesn’t like that four-dollar wad of goat cheese wrapped with cranberries and apricots that the Publix employee described as “tangy”, then you are stuck with it. If you are always experimenting with new foods, you’re always teaching them new words (I clap out the syllables for long words, like avocado), colors, tastes, textures, and shapes, making feeding time more interesting for the both of you.
2. Make up a silly song for each food they eat—it helps them remember. Every time I feed her a peanut butter sandwich, I sing a little ditty I made up, extolling the virtues of plain PB&B (peanut butter and bread; we never have jelly).
3. Let them get as messy as they want before a bath. (Mine loves avocadoes, and they’re great for the skin, too.) It actually is easier to just throw them in the bath to play than try to wipe them down.
4. If you’re feeding your child dry cereal, put a piece on each one of your eyes and then pitch forward, so it looks like your eyes are falling out. It just might make them laugh!
5. Let them help you prepare (or watch you prepare) the food. It may take a little longer, but everything takes longer with kids. Do a little dance and clap or turn on the radio. Let them rock out with a whisk and a pot or pan.
6. Eat together. Eating isn’t just a nutritional function, but a social one. Let them experiment by tasting your food, as well.
7. Learn sign language. It’s a fun and great way to stretch your memory muscles, gain added dexterity in your hands, and teach your child objects, emotions, etc.