Thursday, September 05, 2013

Week #9- Spending Time Outside

Welcome to the Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival: Week #9 – Spending Time Outside.
This post was written for inclusion in the 10 Week Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival hosted by Prenatal to Parenting. This week our participants have written about spending time outside. We hope you enjoy this week’s posts and consider joining us next week when we share about a week of practicing yoga.

The goal of this week's challenge was to spend time outside and to observe your reactions and that of your children to being outside.  

Why do I always feel like I am a week or 2 behind in the "lessons"?  This week began with the grandparents babysitting and taking them outside for their usual romp in the back yard.  After the grandparent/babysitters left, it went downhill from there.  Or did it?  I have learned another lesson about the difference between my goals and that of my children.  

On Sunday, I had hired a photographer for the twins' cake smash.  Granted the birthday isn't until the end of the month, but I thought it would be better to do it early.  So we were outside in our yard with these oversized cupcake cakes.  Just as I feared, my son, the picky eater took one look at this cake and refused to touch it. And then when he did attempt to take the truck off of it, I  stopped him because we weren't ready for that picture. Mind you, once the truck was off of the cake, he refused to touch it as it was covered in icing on the bottom.  Meanwhile, my daughter ran the opposite direction from the cakes and played in the trees.  My agenda: phototime with cake, their agenda: play outside wherever their hearts desired.  Cake pictures FAIL!

That afternoon, we were taking them to our church picnic.  I had to fight with baby boy to diaper him and wretched my back for the 3rd time this week, and so when we got to the picnic/BBQ at the beach, it didn't go well.  We were in an unfamiliar environment, baby boy clung to me, it was nap time, the children wanted to run on the beach, we didn't want them to do so because we were trying to eat, nor could I run after anyone ... Needless to say after an hour, we packed up the kids and went home.  My agenda: go to picnic, eat food and visit with people; Their agenda:  play on the beach and explore new territory. Picnic FAIL!

It has been raining for most of the week and I still have this back injury so ... no real quality outdoor time this week.  My agenda: get my back to heal. Their Agenda: play wherever their heart desired and get cuddle time with mommy. 

We went to an uncle's farm where there were 2 big dogs, a horse and a stream.  My children loved running around the yard.  Baby girl would stand a foot from the dog and say "auggie". I tried to teach her to pet him but she was shy.  She discovered a stream that runs through the back of the yard and she wanted to go in it.  I finally took her down the bank and took off her shoes and tried to put her feet in the water, which is what she wanted, only to have her holding her feet up in the air when she realized how cold it was. Possibly the dirt being tiny stones didn't help either.  Regardless, she still wanted to go to the stream and would have stepped right off the bridge if the uncle and I hadn't been there to watch her.  Baby boy enjoyed running in the barn with daddy and looking at the horse.  They were both upset to leave earlier than they planned.  Their agenda: explore the farm and everything in it; My agenda: pick up something from the uncle and leave so the man could get some work done.  Farm visit: partial fail.

Yesterday, I finally got a massage appointment for the back only to leave with worse pain and less mobility than when I went in. Hubby has now had to work from home for the past 2 days, thank God for that! and I have tried various remedies to heal my back.  Outdoor time, time with kids in general FAIL!

I have had a chance to reinforce my use of positive language with my children, and remembered to use less negative "do not climb up there" and more positive statements: "crayons stay on the paper please!"

All of the previous "fails", I realize now, were in part because I had an agenda for the outdoors time, that was different from my children's, and it was hard to explain this to a pair of not quite 2 year olds.

We have also had painters at our house on non-rainy days, suffice it to say fewer than I would have liked, hence I was frustrated that the job is taking longer than originally thought with a few other glitches thrown in.  They just left this morning, right before another predicted downpour.  This coupled with my back pain and the difficulty to move, pick up my children, lie down comfortably or to just sit has also deterred my "agenda" for the week.  You don't realize what you have til you don't have it. You also sometimes don't realize how the difference in agenda/goal impacts various people.  

Maybe next week, we will have some success with going outside and I will remember to live in the moment more.

Some of My Favourite Things - Sarah from Prenatal to Parenting shares some of her favourite things to do outside with her kids.
Get Outside – Peaceful Parenting Challenge – Week 9  Katrina from Kalem Photography has made quite a few changes since this challenge began and wonders if you have.
Nature Promotes Parental Sanity – Amber from declares getting outside a fantastic coping mechanisms for difficult parenting days.
Week #9- Spending Time Outside – Jennifer from the Children’s Directory let the expert lead the way.
Amy from The Connection We Share takes a break from work to go fly a kite.
Week 9 - Get Outside - Amanda from Sticky Hands spends the week camping.

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