Many of the world's greatest ideas, discoveries and inventions happened on accident. Newton's apple, Doc's flux capacitor, et cetera. It seems to be no different in every day life, especially in parenting since there's no way of guessing what in the world is going to work, and no kid is the same. I'm amazed at the stories other parents tell of how they get their babies to sleep, how they keep their toddlers from taking off their diapers, how they get their kids to clean their rooms or sit still for haircuts. All genius out of necessity. Here are a couple of my contributions.
"Eat Your Vegetables" - No surprise that veggies are not popular at our table. I do what I can - sneak them in, threaten and reward, look the other way, depending on the day. One night we had a side salad, and Ed and I both served up using tongs like the ones pictured. I offered Hazel some salad and she said no as expected. It was a whatever, look the other way, night. So Ed and I were chatting over dinner and we didn't notice that Hazel had become fascinated with the tongs and was carefully serving herself some salad, a few lettuce leaves at a time. I told her she could serve as much as she liked but she had to eat everything she put on her plate. To my amazement it worked and the kid ate a pile of salad*, and still does whenever the tongs are out. Genius.
"Five More Minutes" - Recently Ginger has shifted her morning wake time from 7-7:30 to 6-6:30 which quite cramps our style, since Ed gets home late and her crib is in our room. We usually pull her into bed with us in the hopes she will chill out or even sleep a little longer like she used to, but she is rearing to go and we get climbed on, kicked, whomped and talked to for the next 20 minutes or so until getting up sounds better than putting up with her any longer.
Last night, though, while getting ready for bed, I had an idea. I saw some plastic Easter eggs in a cupboard, which reminded me that on Easter Ginger played very nicely and quietly in her crib after waking up, playing with her basket contents...and eating jelly beans out of plastic eggs (see picture.) So I put together an everyday basket for her - a sippy cup of water, a book, and two plastic eggs - one with Cheerios and raisins and one with gummy fruit snacks inside - and put it in her crib. I was so proud of myself, and Ed was impressed. Of course the best part was that it worked. I don't know what time she woke up but I did hear some water slurping and egg shaking. But when she did stand up and call to get out, I finally looked at the clock. It was 7:10. And the eggs were empty. Very genius.
What accidental genius ideas have you stumbled upon, either in parenting or regular everyday life? Do share, you never know how many people may fall on their knees and gratefully proclaim you GENIUS!
*"Salad" means mostly lettuce and a few carrots or cucumbers. At one produce store I found these small Mediterranean cucumbers that have soft skin and no seeds; she loves those and eats them like crackers.