Showing posts from March, 2008

A lifelong relationship with sleep

I took a nap the other day, and I have since come to the conclusion that I love sleep. I’m not talking about love like the way you would say, “oh, I love that sweater you’re wearing.” I’m talking real love.Serious love.As-much-as-your-children love.(Well, maybe that not much, but still some pretty intense feelings.)I haven’t always loved sleep so much. In fact, I remember as a child fighting it with everything I had. I used to hate going to bed. Not only would I potentially miss something very exciting or fun, but I would also be left out of my parents’ discussions which I was sure were all about me. So I would give the old line, “but I’m not tired” through half-closed eyes and my head would fall to one side until it fell far enough that I would jolt back awake, only to respond, “what? I wasn’t sleeping…”Eventually I’d give in or they’d yell loud enough and I would have to go to bed, where I was convinced that there were kidnappers just outside my window, waiting to come in and

The smells of our lives

This story has a sweet ending. I promise. I think about smells often. In fact, just the other day as I stood in the deodorant aisle in the pharmacy, I thought about my underarm choices for a long time. There are so many wonderful fragrances out there – orchard peach, wild raspberry, rain forest, tropical breeze – I just don’t think any of them belong in my armpits. For me, the purpose of deodorant is to de-odorize the not-so-pleasant smells that come about after a hard day’s work. The purpose is not to make me hungry or whisk my away to a tropical vacation when I start to sweat. But I digress. My point is that smells are incredibly important in our lives. The olfactory system, complex as it is, is something we rely on every day. Just this last weekend I had to sniff my son’s nose so that I could tell if he was coming down with a cold. (And if this sounds strange to you, ask your mother—I bet she knows the unmistakable “sick smell.”) This also comes after my daughter asked me h

A-tisket, a-tasket, a sugar-filled Easter basket

Here we are, the week after Easter. The religious ceremonies have ended, the special Easter clothes are hanging back in the closet. The ham is gone, and we’re all eating egg salad sandwiches. And I’d bet money that if you’ve got a little kid living in your house, there is plastic Easter grass scattered in every imaginable place – and then some. I don’t know how it does it, but in my house those little strands make their way in cracks and crevices unreachable by the human hand. Most likely, I’ll still be finding pieces of it when I’m putting up my Christmas decorations. And I’d also bet that even if you don’t have a kid around, a little bit of Easter candy has made it’s way into your house. I know we’re just swimming in it. It came at us from all directions; from parties and relatives and schools and yes, even from Mr. Peter Cottontail himself. And it’s all for the sake of giving that we now have actively contributed to the fact that Easter is the second largest candy-associated ho

To: Mom and Dad Subject: Paradise

I suppose you’ve reached that age when it’s officially allowed to get out of the late winter weather we have around here and head south to better climates. Some people call you ‘snowbirds’ but after the recent bouts of snow, rain and ice we’ve had here, I think I’ll call you ‘smart’ and ‘lucky.’ I also suppose that while I sit here and watch the sleet fall outside my window, your windows are open, the warm breeze blowing in. Your house probably doesn’t smell like it’s been closed up for four months, harboring all of the wonderful odors that come from having small kids around. You are probably not dining on chicken nuggets and fruit punch, and you most likely don’t have to dig through a pile of clothes to find a shirt without spit-up on it. Sounds a bit like paradise. Yesterday was just a normal day around here. I woke up the kids, although they didn’t want to get out of bed. Truthfully, I lied and told them it was a snow day, and when they jumped up all excited, I yelled “psyche!”

If you can’t beat ‘em, “cautiously” join ‘em

By Karrie McAllister My Valentine’s Day wasn’t very romantic. Oh, it’s not what you’re thinking. My husband did his job and brought home roses. It was, naturally, my children who provided the laughs on the heart-filled holiday, and some stories are just too good to not share. As parents, we are constantly challenged by the very personalities that are our children. When faced with these challenges, we do our very best. And sometimes our best turns out pretty good. Other times it backfires. Dealing with my son’s Valentine’s Day, it backfired. Being a four-year old boy, he’s got little interest in learning his letters, numbers, or anything slightly academic. He’s been riding a two-wheel bike since he was three, but ask him to sit and trace the letters B-I-K-E is nearly impossible. So after worrying about preschool and kindergarten looming ahead, I decided that drastic times call for drastic measures. “Do you want to learn how to spell the word “toot?” I asked, hoping that his interest