Categories
Kids Parenting

Get a helmet

I got Sam this race car helmet from the gift shop at the Glasgow Museum of Transport recently (an awesome place to go by the way). Museum gift shops are a guilty pleasure, I always find something I want that’s usually overpriced, and the kids always seem to as well. However, this helmet was only £4! It must have been a mistake, as I’ve seen all manner of plastic items with much fewer parts priced three times as much, so I considered it a purchase worthy of the few hours of fun that we would have with it.

The thing is, Sam barely took it off once over the course of the next couple of days. I think I actually had to tell him that he couldn’t sleep while wearing it on the first night.

That £4 purchase has now given us days and days worth of fun.

But the best part of the helmet purchase is seeing how Sam behaves differently with it on. He’s a race car driver! A superhero! He’s invincible! He pretends that the visor gives him an extra shield to protect him against the sun (which is actually kind of true) and against Grandpa’s robot laser beams and careens about shouting and sliding with wild abandon.

Aside from the huge smiles that we all get and how much fun it is to play with Sam and his helmet, it’s gotten me thinking about the connection between the playing dress-up and pretending to be something versus actually being it. What’s the difference? We all start as pretenders and we all feel like fakes at first. What you wear (and how it fits) can make you feel invincible or invisible. You have to start somewhere.

One of the best pieces of advice I have been given was from a former mentor who would tell people that really wanted to switch what they were doing professionally (i.e. take on a new role doing different work than they are currently doing) to simply find a way to start doing the work now, regardless of whether they had permission. In other words, get a helmet and start pretending.

A £4 helmet gives Sam permission to be something that he might not think he is, but that’s exactly where the path to being a race car driver starts.

Categories
Kids

Lighthouse

Early morning before anyone was up, Vivi showed me how she learned to draw a lighthouse.

Later, Sam and Kav were waiting for me after my run, full of goofball faces.

Feeling more than grateful.

The night before I read this:

Studies have confirmed what’s pretty obvious – having children makes people even unhappier. But what people want, above all else, is not to be happy; they want to devote themselves to something, to give themselves away. Some parents had told me that you couldn’t understand what it meant to truly love someone until you’d had a child, which had always seemed to me like not a very impressive advertisement for human altruism – most people only ever experienced selfless love toward people who were genetic extensions of themselves? But now here it was, a force as matter-of-fact and implacable as the gravity of the planet, the deceptively gentle pull of six thousand sextillion tons.

(Tim Kreider, We Learn Nothing)
Categories
Parenting Work

The (home) office door

Working from home full-time is fantastic, but having an office in a small house with two small children means that staying focused can be a challenge.

As any parent will tell you, a closed-door is not a universally recognised symbol by children to knock or come back later. It’s more like a general invitation to see what’s happening behind. A locked door generally leads to more knocking. You have to get a bit more creative if you want to minimize interruptions. So I had an idea.

As a project, the kids and I created a few things for the office door that now serve as an interface between us while Dad is working.

Categories
Parenting

Are you the type of parent who:

  • Thinks hard about what kind of food is going into your kids body?
  • Tries to include art and music education in your child’s daily education?
  • Takes your kids traveling intentionally to get them away from the comforts they are used to and to see something new?
  • Tries to encourage reading as a fundamental lifelong habit?
  • Attempts to leave some space in your childs schedule so that they might be bored and eventually realize it’s impossible if they really think about it?
  • Stops what you are doing to listen to your child when they are talking and truly hear them?
  • Would rather include your child in the dinner conversation and not have them sit somewhere else?

Parenting is hard.

I wish I was this type of parent all the time but I fail often. A friend recently told me that because I’m the type of parent that does one of these things, my kids are going to be ok. What a compliment.

Even if you don’t do the above, but maybe aspire to, your kids are going to be alright. Kids are smarter and more resilient than we give them credit for and, as for the things you are saying? They are hearing you even though it may not seem like it.

We all do the opposite sometimes and beat ourselves up over it.

Don’t.

Instead, think about the type of parent you are, or want to be, and give yourself a break.

Then start again.

This parenting stuff is hard.

Categories
Featured Moving to Scotland Parenting

To uproot or not to uproot?

That is the question.

Oh man, the weight of decisions as a parent can’t be underestimated.  I’ve always been fairly thoughtful and composed in any big decisions, but ADDING kids to the mix adds a hefty kettle bell to my arms.

Life in America right now (apart from the utter political craziness we are part of) is pretty awesome day to day!  #blessed #lucky #surreal We are probably middle class textbook – totally weird when you look in from the outside.  Married, Kids (one of each), 4 bedroom home, 2 cars….. healthy, happy.  So why change that?

A ton of reasons, all with different weight.  And whilst there is no obvious reason to uproot, all of our personal reasons leave us with an instinctual feeling that this is the way forward for our family.  And we are SO LUCKY that we are ABLE to make such a decision, and plan such a move.

So here goes our big family move from America to Scotland, where we will open new doors, new experiences, new adventures….. and lots of laughing as Nick uses his American words, and the Scottish take the piss! 🙂  Don’t worry babe, I’ve got your back (sometimes)!

*A few things the Scottish will find funny – Semi, Glasgow…..* more later in its own dedicated article!