I just finished a marathon baby-sitting day: 7:45 am -7:15pm! The usual suspects: Miss Eleanor in the morning and then her bestie Luke joined us in the afternoon. These are the only two children I take care of and I've been doing it for two years now, wow! They are now three, fastly approaching four... great ones...Here's the cool necklace of Eleanor's I got to wear all day! But I digress...
There's something really special about spending such a large chunk of time with kids. It's not easy by any means, but you get enough time to just exist together. You have your ups and downs, your tears, your quarrels, your 'rules', your fun... you learn and do stuff and you just chill. This is my absolute favorite favorite part, just sitting with a child, chillin and chatting, Bill Cosby style. (total hero with the children and new addition to my team, btw)
Needless to say, this afternoon I was a little pooped, so I sent the little bffs off to Kid Land while I hung out in Grownup Land. I described Kid Land in a previous post, but it's the place where the kids 'go' to play however they want, without me around, as loud as they want, as messy as they want and I don't wander in unless I hear something in need of intervention. I actually keep pretty close tabs on them... and you think I'm just in it for the extra knitting time! It's been a really great system for me, especially when I need a little grownup land time and I think it's good for them too.
But today, before sending them off to Kid Land, I made them some Kid Land Mix:
In a big ziplock bag mix hand fulls of: crackers, raisins, nuts, chocolate chips, cheerios or any other "trail mixy" items. Really it doesn't matter, it's more about the presentation. Shake up the bag so it all gets mixed evenly. This is your master bag and must be marked KIDS ONLY!!!! Seriously, no grownups allowed. (Sometimes you can get a kid to share with you though...)
I gave each child his(her) own little ziplock bag, with his(her) initial on it. This is very important, to keep them straight. I'm going to be picking them up this whole week after school, so this is their snack bag for the week with me. I told them not to eat all the chocolate chips today, or else they'd be all gone on Friday. Of course they could if they wanted to and maybe they'll learn to trade items for their favorites as the bag gets thinner? I'm curious to see what happens. Each day I plain to add a little something extra. Today, a couple of carrots got tossed in. Tomorrow? Not sure yet, but some healthy vegetabaly thing.
I can't tell you how into this they were! They carried around their bags all afternoon announcing each new item as they munched it. They also couldn't wait to show their parents. It made me really glad to see them carefully close their bag and set it down in a safe spot while they played. We have a designated time period that is ok for snacking, basically up to an hour before dinner, and then the bags go away until the next day. I'm looking forward to tomorrow...
Here are the kids enjoying their Kid Land Mix