I have been trying to make snacks for the kids everyday after school in an effort to spend some quality time with them and make it a positive experience instead of the crazy/chaotic/whiny/hungry/irritated/short-tempered/frantic/tired time it usually is. Miss B gave me the idea when she told me how much she enjoys special snacks after school and how it brightens her day. At first I was a bit overwhelmed with such a daunting task looming ahead of me, but as I've planned for each day...I have found myself enjoying it and excited for them to come home. Some days I've made homemade muffins or cookies, while others have been simply crackers, cheese and pickles. One of our favorites is refrigerator biscuits dipped in butter and rolled in cinnamon/sugar and then baked for some quick "donuts". Some are healthy, some are sweet, some are neither...but it has been a successful attempt and I think it has helped the overall mood in the house. I have been excited to see their faces when they get home and they get a chance to unwind for a couple of minutes each afternoon with me before they have to rush off for homework, activities, etc.
It has also been a huge milestone for me as a mother. I have realized that my attitude changes a lot. And that a little effort goes a long, long way. It has been months of bickering and arguing and whining and not just all from the kids. I have been trying to change the atmosphere around these parts and the after-school snack has been one of my attempts at turning that frown upside down. The funny/ironic part is...I have been feeling picked on, overworked and under-appreciated and all I had to do was put forth a little more work (which seems totally counter-intuitive) to get the kids more obliging and willing to help out. Weird how that works. No wonder I couldn't get it right. I was going about it all wrong.
This parenting thing is hard work. Sometimes I think I have part of it figured out and I feel content and happy and successful. Other times I am disheartened, frustrated and worried I'll never get it right. So when I figure something out or make some progress in one area or another, I am refreshed and motivated to head back into the fray with a pep in my step and a smile on my face.
Three cheers for after-school snacks.
For our latest Friday snack we made heart pops from Family Fun. I'll tell you it was tricky business finding mini candy canes in late January. I finally found some on clearance at the dollar store. But only about 12. And some were broken. So we had to be careful and barely got 5 good pops from the bunch. The kids almost imploded waiting for them to cool. Seriously. I thought they were going to pass out from impatience.
Oh and Dennis lost his first tooth. He lost it the good old-fashioned, take-a-bite-out-of-an-apple way. And he's quite proud of the fact that he can make a backward "L" with the gap in his front teeth and the space from the lost tooth. Quite proud indeed.