we’ve been fighting a stomach bug the past few days, watching way too many shows, and i’ve been thinking about how easy it is to turn on the computer or the television even when your kids aren’t sick, so this list is mostly for me. maybe it’s for you too.
1. wash cars in the sink.
i don’t know how it works at your house, but over here our cars hang out a lot in the sandbox, or in the grass, or in the flowerbeds, and there’s nothing more exciting for teddy than filling the sink with warm soapy bubbles and giving his cars a little rinse off. i tell myself it’s teaching him responsibility, and try not to think how much it adds to our water bill. sometimes i even wash a few dishes myself.
2. jump on the bed.
teddy loves showing me how high he can safely jump on the bed, and vivi loves watching him. it takes five minutes or less, resets both of us, and gives us a little boost before we move on to the next thing.
3. pick some books to read.
we visit the library at least once a week and get excited about making a cozy spot in the sunroom to read them. it’s also fun for us to visit our own book collection and select favorites that maybe we haven’t read in a while. i can’t believe how much we’ve learned to love reading together, and how little effort it takes from me to help my kids find joy in such an important skill.
3. play play play.
build a rocket ship or a fire station or a barn or anything your kid comes up with. play hide and seek, dump out the legos, plunk on the piano or a million other things. it doesn’t have to be all day or even all afternoon. i’ve never regretted an extra 15 minutes of playing hands-on with my kids.
4. go outside.
we live close to the greenbelt and next to a park, which is perfect if you have time and motivation to put on shoes and a coat, but you don’t have to leave your house to have an adventure. just go outside for a few minutes and gather a few leaves or rocks. hang from a tree. pick some dandelions. guaranteed you’ll feel better.
this one takes a little more effort, (unless you want your house watercolored) but teddy loves it so much and i’ve found that putting a relaxing playlist on while he paints results in a positive experience for both of us.
6. have a snack.
grab a glass of water and nibble on some strawberries. extra points if you do it outside in nice weather.
7. take a quick soak.
i’ve discovered there’s never a bad time for a bath for little kids. it’s relaxing and comforting, and sometimes i put my feet in there with them which gives us all a little break.
8. facetime family
i know it’s still a screen, but better to have them talk to grandma and grandpa, or cousins or friends than to be staring at another episode of another show, right? if you are fortunate enough to have family that lives close to you go see them and appreciate the heck out of it and i’m very jealous of you.
9. get out of the house.
go to the bakery, or the zoo, the farmers market, or the park. visit your partner at work, or go on a playdate. even if it’s only to fill up your car with gas, just go literally anywhere that isn’t your house. sometimes you just need to leave. (obviously, this isn’t ideal for sick babies though…)
10. have some quiet time.
sometimes teddy, vivi and i will cozy up in our bed, close the curtains, turn on some twinkle lights in a glass jar, and i’ll softly tell them both about the day i met dada, or the day dada and i got married, or the different adventures we’ve been on. teddy especially loves hearing about the places we’ve gone. (especially landmarks like the eiffel tower or st. basils cathedral).
i always finish my story by talking about how badly we wanted a baby, how we waited and waited, and how excited we were when we found out we would have a little boy and then a little girl. teddy smiles softly when i tell him how we love them more than all the airplane flights and all the chocolate and all the beautiful dresses in the world. it’s one of the few times i can count on him being quiet- he loves hearing about how we couldn’t wait to be a mama and dada. i always leave this quiet time feeling more grateful for my life and circumstances, even if i’m having a crap day.
…and after you’ve tried at least one of these ideas, you know what? you can always turn on a show. especially if you’re dealing with sick kids like i am. we’re all just trying to survive. x