I've been thinking today about how much of parenting is about marketing. Have you ever thought about this? The packaging and re-packaging of information in such a way that it becomes palatable, even preferable, to your kids.
Becky did a post recently about making a grilled cheese sandwich for her little dude, and how he wouldn't eat the crusts. Several of the commenters shared their tactics in "repackaging" the crusts so they would get eaten.
Saturday evening, Jason made us all breakfast for dinner.
Do you ever do this? It was so yummy. Pancakes and lots of syrup, bacon, scrambled eggs with cheese. I was craving pancakes, so I loved it. But the thing that struck me was how excited the kids were and what a novelty it was to them. You would've thought the circus was in town or something. They danced around the kitchen and hugged each other. (They are cheap dates.)
My mom used to do this for us and I can remember feeling like it was a really special occasion. Now, I realize that it was probably just that she hadn't gone to the grocery store that day and needed to come up with something filling that we would eat. But, see? Marketing! If she'd said, "Hey guys, all we have tonight is grits and scrambled eggs with toast. Sorry", we would've been totally bummed out. Instead, it was like, "Guess what! We get to have breakfast! But it's nighttime! See the crazy paradox? What a cool mom I am!"
I have "re-packaged" vitamins to be energy pills. That sounds suspiciously like speed or something, but I promise it's not. I tell Nate when he eats broccoli that I can see his bones getting stronger. (Hey--it does have calcium!)In addition, it is now really awesome to still sit in his car seat cause now he's up high enough to roll the window down.
In my life as a parent, I spend the vast majority of my time on the following:
**Making sure no one falls off cliffs or gets hit by cars (You think I jest-- you should see our cliff-like driveway)
**Brushing tangles out of hair
**Talking about why heaven is good even if there aren't toys there and why Jesus can fly but that doesn't mean He is a boy fairy.
**Taking information that is mundane or undesirable and re-formatting it into fun! Let me! I saw it first!
I used to wonder why parents were so tired all the time. Now I think it's because you are constantly filtering information, explaining it, managing expectations and spinning it, baby! It can be quite fun, actually. And when Jason and I come up with a particularly good spin, we look at each other, nod and smile, like "Ohhhh yeah, baby. We are good." But what about you? Share your best spin-master stories. Help a sister out, would ya? Or if you haven't done it yourself, what worked on you?