At this time of year, it's traditional to talk about traditions. I'm reading a lot of blog posts right now about festive routines and special moments to create for your kids.
But, in amongst all of that, parents are still getting on with the day to day job of looking after their children.
Today, I'm thinking about the traditions, routines and special moments that we build into every day.
Here are some of the things which I make a point of doing with Matilda every single day:
Giving her an enormous smile in the morningEven on those mornings when she wakes up an hour and a half earlier than usual. Because, no matter how much I
Focusing on the funIt may be a day of errands and chores but I can always find some time to push her on the swings, bounce her up and down, pretend to eat her belly (currently the single most hilarious thing in the universe) or otherwise focus my full attention on helping her have fun. She's good at entertaining herself some of the time (generally by harassing the cats) and I think that's an important skill to have but it's also important that she knows that she's never a chore to me.
Eating lunch with herMatilda often has breakfast or dinner at a different time from Steve and me so, although one of us is there with her, she's eating on her own. At lunchtime, she and I eat the same food at the same time. It feels important to me that she has at least one "proper sit down meal" each day.
Reading with herI always anticipated reading bedtime stories to my baby but, it turns out, when she's tired she doesn't want to focus on a book. Instead, I make a point of sitting down and reading to her - or at least helping her lift the flaps and feel the textures in her board books - every afternoon. I love that she's suddenly interested in books; recently she has even started asking to be read to.
Granting her fifteen minutes of nonsense time before going to sleepSometimes Matilda falls asleep the moment we lay her in the cot; most of the time, she does not. Most of the time, she needs to unwind a little bit before she can sleep. We haven't found a pre-bedtime routine useful with her - what we have found useful is assuming she's going to spend fifteen minutes standing up and chewing on the side of the cot, babbling and blowing raspberries, and flailing around, sending the covers into disarray. More often than not, she falls asleep within those fifteen minutes but it's much nicer for everyone if we're not trying to rush her along with frantic rocking, dummies or questionable sleep training techniques. When she's older, I want her to know that bedtime does not mean we're sending her away; she can have fifteen minutes to chat, if she would like.
Do you have any daily rituals of your own?