Gone are the days of hopping out of bed at 8:20 and having my kids to school on time. Even if they are already dressed and have had breakfast and all I’m required to do is pack a snack and remind them to brush hair, I just can’t do it. The Me, Myself and I of last year has become Squidge, Squdge and Ginny and we are a lot slower.
Friday morning Buster had running club and was already at school when my alarm went off at 8:15. I could hear Lady eating breakfast and Squdge singing his morning siren song. I eased out of bed, shuffled out to give the Lady a quick good morning. The next 15 minutes sounded like this: “Did you brush your hair? What? You didn’t do your home reading? Get me a diaper please so I can change this guy while you read. Hurry! No, we don’t have time for you to help. Just get the diaper. Okay, I’m starting the reading timer. You don’t need to watch me do this, just read. That word is ‘said’. Okay, socks. No! Why are you touching the baby? I asked you to get socks on. Hurry. I know he’s cute, but you’re going to be late. Please brush your hair. Don’t play with the baby until you’re all ready. Coat lady. COAT! Focus! I’ll just change Squidges diaper while you put on your coat. Zip it up. Brush your hair now! Why are you in here without boots on yet? Your bell already rang! Hurry…”
I hustled the four of us out the door and then struggled to push the stroller through the soft alley snow as fast as I could
force encourage everyone. Then a short 1/2 block from our house–only a half block– the Lady slipped on the ice and exploded into tears. Not the “the ground is hard” kind of crying that her fall deserved but rather they were the “everything in my life is hard” kind of sobs I’m becoming more and more familiar with. Looking at her and the school and my watch and how far we had still to go, I grumbled in my own –everything is hard–voice “maybe you shouldn’t even go to school today!”
The way my beautiful little 5 year old then looked at me with eyes wide with relief and surprise and gratitude broke my heart. What she really needed was to not hurry. She needed kindness. She needed understanding. She needed me to just be there with her in that moment. So I took a breath and said again in a softer kinder voice, almost the first kind voice of the morning, “Maybe you and I need a morning at home together”.
“Uh huh”‘she whispered.
So we headed home. Instead of rushing down the ally we took the longer sidewalk route. We stopped to break through ice puddles with our boots and look at the sunrise and contemplate which of the ice formations were made by Jack Frost and which ones Elsa might have made. And all along we held hands.
The morning at home wasn’t spectacular. We cleaned up her craft corner. We made cupcakes. She told me about the boy she thinks is in love with her. She watched Barbie Dream house and I bounced babies. But we called it a relationship day and everything we did, we did with more time and more awareness and more love. Something we can all use more of.
Cranberry Granola Bars
We don’t really handle a lot of nuts or oats very well at our house so I’ve made these to replace the bulk of oats in traditional granola bars with coconut and Rice Krispies. They are soft and chewy but the rice adds just the right amount of crunch. The tart craisins balance the richness of the nut butters. I made mine this time with half peanut butter and half cashew butter. They are also excellent made with a mix of sunflower and soy butters to be nut allergy safe.
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 2 cups Rice Krispies
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup agave Nectar (or light corn syrup or the equivalent of honey thinned with water)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup nut butter
Toast the oats and coconut in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Melt over medium heat, stirring often to avoid scorching, the agave, sugar and butters. When it is nice and runny pour over the dry ingredients. Mix well.
Scoop the mixture Into a 9×13 Pan and press hard to pack together. If you have a small rolling-pin that works well or place another 9×13 Pan over top and push down hard. If you happen have a small person helping you they can stomp around on it to pack it down.