Thursday, September 26, 2013

I am Not a Tiger Mom...Or am I?

While it's been a very busy week for us, I don't seem to have much to write.  None of our daily craziness seems interesting enough to share with you people.

Do you really want to see photos of insanely hectic first hours of the day, getting tired kids to get dressed, eat breakfast and occasionally brush their teeth, all in time to get to school before the bell rings?  I'm not taking any photos of that madness.  I did however reinstate a device that you might remember from our old apartment, The List.

It really works, people.  Our mornings have been stressful since moving to the new apartment, mostly because we now have 20 fewer minutes to get ready in the morning.  And no, we're not waking up 20 minutes earlier.  That would be too easy.  So this morning when Holden asked if he could play the typing game on the computer I said, "If your list is finished."  And when Ella started playing with her dolls while still in her pajamas, I gently reminded her "Don't forget about your list."  And you know what?  They both were ready to go when it was time to leave.  Amazing.

I read an article last night that was apparently written just for me.  It's called Why Back-to-School Night Made Me Feel Like a Bad Mom.  Unless you're a mother of small children, you don't really need to read it, but the gist is that some of us (who shall remain nameless) feel like we're failing our children if we don't have them signed up for soccer/ballet/piano/Spanish/basket weaving after school and if our kids aren't Olympic worthy athletes and stage worthy musicians by the time they're in middle school.  For me personally, it's not a competitive thing.  I'm not trying to make my kids better than anyone else's kids.  I just want my kids to have as many opportunities as possible, expose them to as much of the world as possible, open them up to all the possibilities out there so that they can find their niche and excel.  So that they can have choices.  So that they can have confidence.

But that can come at a price.  Over scheduling.  Stress on the children.  Not enough time to work on their school work.  Not enough time to play.

So I will admit that right now, my children are signed up for (and enjoying): soccer (Ella), T-ball (Holden), piano (Ella - taught in Spanish), cooking (both - taught in Spanish) and yoga (both).  All after school and on weekends.  All while enrolled in a school that is taught in English on Mondays and Wednesdays and half of Fridays and in Spanish on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and half of Fridays.  It may sound like too much but they don't know any different and they seem to love it all.

I wouldn't call myself a Tiger Mom.  Ella only practices piano 7 minutes a day for the time being.  And they don't even realize that they're learning anything in the cooking class (even though it's an hour and a half more a week of Spanish immersion).  And yoga, well.  Who doesn't love yoga?


I've done some cooking of my own this week, with no help from the kids.

Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin (veggies from the box).
I tossed the leftovers with pasta the next night.

Peach Cake (peaches from the box)

And I made a sweet potato and cauliflower soup last night (cauliflower from the box) but I didn't take a photo of it because frankly, although it tasted delicious, it looked like baby food. 

I made some pear muffins yesterday just using a boxed mix of carrot cake and instead of adding the carrots I added diced pears.  You could also do the same with a spice cake mix.  Thumbs up all around.  And since we got a ton of pears in this week's box, tonight I'm making a quick pear tart using a store bought pie crust again.

And I'll leave you with this:

Spot on, Holden.

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