All mamas have their tricks.
Call them coping mechanisms if you want, but I like to refer to them as acquired skills. Little bits of wisdom in my back pocket.
For instance, you know and I know that there are incredibly busy days in the life of a young family. There are days when you just don’t want to cook, and weeks when you just didn’t manage your time in the grocery store real well (read: three children bickered and begged and hurled themselves out of the basket so you forgot half the stuff on your list).
THAT is precisely why it is good to have French bread and frozen fruit in the freezer, as well as pasta sauce in the pantry at all times.
In a pinch, they translate into not only dinner, but breakfast too!
We named them “Pizza Sandwiches”, but they’re really just glorified grilled cheese made on french bread, with a side of pasta sauce for dipping. (Slice the bread on the diagonal for nice long slices, butter, pile on the cheese (we like provolone and parmesan) and cook on a pan until nice and toasty)
They go really nicely with
Disguised Fruit For the Picky Eater smoothies made from the frozen fruit. (+ yogurt and milk)
Actually, come to think of it, I don’t know if they go so nicely together. My kids just like them together.
In the morning, you can heat up some of that frozen fruit and put it on top of the french toast you make from the left over french bread.
I’ve got lunchtime tricks too.
I try to make their lunches at breakfast time, even though we don’t go to school. That way, I don’t have to dirty up the kitchen again, and I don’t have to hear about how everyone is starving to death and it’s taking me too long to make lunch.
Lunch seems to bring out my children’s inner beasts. There is much arguing, whining, recreating speed eating contests… So, their tricky mama has turned it into read aloud time. We read Farmer Boy over lunches and are now a few chapters into Little House in the Big Woods. It keeps their attention and makes for a pleasant lunch. It works out well because all the Little House books make me hungry anyhow.
A few more tricks come to mind:
– audiobooks for long car trips (Pippi on the last trip to Granny’s house, A Cricket In Times Square for the return trip)
– making clean up time fun by playing the theme to Mission Impossible (so apropos). The idea is that we we all speed clean while the song is on.
– last minute gift wrap (tissue paper, markers and ribbon = Curly Headed Birthday Monsters)
– Ketchup bottles turned watering cans for enthusiastic gardeners
You get the idea.
So let’s hear it. What are your favorite mama tricks?