Monday, June 10, 2013

SUMMER TO-DOs (The Kid Edition)

Happy Monday!  

It is, indeed, a happy Monday for me since my kid woke up with a normal temp. Yesterday after a trip to the children's after-hours clinic for belly pain, M became lethargic and feverish. I can't remember the last time she's been sick like that.  I knew she felt REALLY bad when she didn't want to play and didn't protest at bedtime (my kid ALWAYS protests at bedtime). I'd forgotten how heartbroken and helpless you feel as a parent seeing your child sick.

But today she seems to be in better spirits. She's playing again and seems to be back to her old self. 

On another note, I'm challenging myself to blog every day this week (Monday - Friday, at least). I've got a few things I want to get up.  I know if I don't challenge myself, it will get stretched out or never done.

I want to begin with our Summer To-Do lists.  Like I told you, these are more for ME so that I don't lose track of my summer goals. Our summer lists are usually long, detailed, and all over the place (see lists from 2012 and 2011). This year I'm categorizing and generalizing so that they're not so overwhelming. So today I'll do M's, I'll do mine tomorrow, and a "house" one Wednesday. 

Let's begin, shall we. This is what I plan to do with M this summer (we're almost three weeks into the summer, so naturally we've already started most of these):
  1. Visit the zoo, art museum, and/or children's museum.  We enjoy all three of these and hope to visit each at least once this summer.  Places that make learning fun always get good marks in our book.
  2. Move M to her own bed.  I confess -- we share our bed with a four year-old!  M slept in her own bed most of her first year.  That changed once she got out of that SIDS-risk stage because we (naively) thought it'd be cool to have our little one in bed with us a night or two.  That turned into days.  Weeks.  Months.  And here we are with a preschooler who hates her own bed and migrates to ours not long after she's down for the night.  Couple that with "I'm scared" and "there's a monster in my room," and you've got bedtime drama every night.  So, it's time to wrap up this little stage.  I know it's gonna be tough (and really, it's completely our fault as parents for even starting this), but I pray that we end this summer with some results.  Because I just really want my bed back.
  3. Visit an amusement park.  We didn't go to one at all last summer (I don't think), so this was something I really wanted to do this summer.  Thanks to a friend of mine, we can already check this off the list. (M had a blast.)
  4. Work on patience and attitude.  I wish I could say my child is the sweetest, most patient child I know.  For the most part, she IS a sweet, patient child.  About 90% of the time, she's adorable just like any other four year-old. But the other 10% of the time?  She's smart-mouthed, impatient, and full of attitude. It's very much like a 16 year-old in a four year-old's body.  It's freaky, and it irks me so much. I don't know where she gets it (and I'm being serious here - I was not like that as a kid), but I'm using this summer to do some attitude-correcting.  Do I expect her to be a perfect angel?  No, but some things just don't need to be ignored. 
  5. Summer reading.  I love the concept of summer reading programs.  Our local library encourages families to start while children are still babies, so we've been doing this since M was six months old. We'll also do the Barnes and Noble program again since it's one of the easiest national programs. (HERE is a list of some other cool national summer reading programs.)
  6. Take advantage of the local free entertainment.  This one's a summer favorite of ours. This would be everything from library shows to city festivals.  Free is good!
  7. Prevent summer learning loss. Summer learning loss is real, my friends. And though M is only in preschool, there's a lot she's learned that I don't want her to lose. While I won't necessarily be teaching her new material (I teach teenagers -- preschool pedagogy is kinda foreign to me), I will be prepping her for the fall by spending a few minutes every day doing fun educational stuff.  Strengthening what she already knows. I'm going to do an entirely separate post on this soon. 
  8. Go outside a lot.  It's so easy to stay inside all day with the iPad, books, and toys, but I try to make it a priority to get outdoors every day. If you ask me, going outside makes for happier kids and easier bed times - ha!  There are a whole lot of other reasons, too, of course. 
  9. Give M more responsibilities. M will be five in December, and there's something about that age that makes me want to give her a few more responsibilities.  I want to raise her to be self-sufficient, independent. She cleans her own room (for the most part), helps me folds towels and washcloths, and even insists on helping cook.  But I think I need to give her a few more things to do this summer -- especially since she'll be home. Small things, but responsibilities, nonetheless.  It's for her own good
  10. Do nothing.  I used to cringe at the thought of doing absolutely nothing, but I'm now wise enough now to know you NEED those days.  They are OKAY.  If there's a day where M watches Disney Junior all day, then she we probably need it.
So yeah, that's my general list of priorities for M this summer. Wish me luck!

(Drop by tomorrow to see what my plans are for myself.)  See ya soon!


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