Thursday, January 12, 2012

The hidden perks of parenting

Winter has arrived.  Mornings at the park are on hold for the next few months.  This equates to some pretty interesting days stuck inside and a daily frustration of coming up with something fun to do.  I have officially shut down the many bells and whistles that were attached to the hundreds of toys that have made themselves at home in our living room since Christmas.  You can only cook so many brownies in Julia's play kitchen until you need another fun activity.  I have to admit, the TV has been on much more than I'd like to admit.  There are moments when I have thought to myself, if I hear the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse introduction one more time, I might go crazy.  Though these characters have a special place in my daughter's heart, the daily toddler-driven cartoons begin to wear on your sanity.  
Yes, the TV has even captured Charlie's attention!
 Two nights ago, I couldn't take it anymore.  We turned off the TV and decided to have a Pandora dance party courtesy of the Veggie Tales song mix.  We rocked out to Alvin and the Chipmunks and some praiseBaby and suddenly, our house was filled with one of the greatest childhood songs ever: Doe a Deer from The Sound of Music.  This song is iconic not only for the sing-along lyrics, but if you've watched the movie, it is wonderfully choreographed.  While holding Charlie, I taught Julia the steps straight from the movie (I just wish that I had a beautifully landscaped staircase and some Von Trapp children to help me out). Both of the kids got a huge kick out of it. 
Suddenly I had this huge appreciation for the opportunities that I have to share these moments with my children.  When you grow up you often forget about those great childhood gems that mold your memories.  One of the gifts of having a child is the simple fact that you open the door to experience it all over again.
This morning we had our first toddler storytime at the local library.  It reminded me of my favorite first grade teacher who used to read to us (on the number rug) with such conviction that the stories would come alive.  I watched Julia soak in the story today about a Superhero and I could see that same sense of wonder that I felt when I was little.  Frankly, I was a little bit jealous that I didn't get to make a Superhero cape during the craft after the story :)
Julia and Charlie have opened this new world of reexperiencing these great things.  Since having children, I have rediscovered my love for PB&J, some good old fashioned mac and cheese and stomping in rain puddles.  I have flown a kite, built daily forts, searched for bugs, went on a wild hunt for the "Silly Gilly Gumbo", marched in circles to music, and heck, I've even had a turn or two in a bounce house.  It may sound silly, but sometimes I stop and thank Julia for the opportunity to do some of these special things. While I have many painful days ahead filled with Mickey Mouse, glitter nailpolish, and reading the same book over and over again, I can't complain.  This stuff is just way too much fun!

And in the meantime, for those of you who need a fine balance, I have found a little snippet that you may enjoy.  Julia and I both agree that we like this clip.
I love Feist.  Julia loves Sesame Street.  And they came together for a special treat!
*WARNING* If you watch this clip, you will likely sing it in your head for days on end.  But it will make you laugh to sing, "1-2-3-4, Chickens come back from the shore".

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