Aug 21, 2010

Only the Strong (and Smart) Survive

Last Friday night (or maybe it was Saturday - who knows?) we went to dinner with our friends Martha (Granny) and Dewayne (Gramps). Sara Madalin was a HANDFUL! We could hardly carry on a conversation. With the exception of when we eat later on Sundays for lunch, she is usually pretty good when we eat out at a restaurant. But for some reason, she was all over the place when we were with Martha and Dewayne. I decided when we left that night, we were not going to have that happen again.

One afternoon this past week, I put together a little restaurant Survival Pack. I think that part of the reason she was so rambunctious is that she was bored and fighting for the attention of those at the table. So, rather than have her fight to be a part of things, I thought I'd give her a few things of her own to keep her busy while we wait for food or while the adults talk.

So far in her Survival Pack I have the following things: a big stack of coloring sheets,

Some string and cardboard activities (for improving motor skills - or creating accessories, if you are my child - she likes to make these into "neck-aces"),

"kickers" - you can entertain a 2 y/o for a LONG time with a few stickers,

colors ,

(Her Sunday school teacher gave her this for her birthday last May. It's a little pouch that holds her crayons, then rolls up for storage. There's ribbon attached that allows us to tie it up. We have really loved her Sunday school teachers. By "we" I mean us and SM. She has really taken to them. There are two sets of teachers - they rotate each week. Sara Madalin has loved them both. But, last week SM was promoted to the next level class. I hope she enjoys this set of teachers as much as she did those she had. )

flashcards - colors and counting,

and wipes. If you are a parent of a child under 30, never leave home without a pack (or two) of wipes.

So, I packed all that up and we went to meet Reagan for dinner. Mexican, of course. And when I pulled out the Survival Pack, Sugar was so excited. She was entertained until our dinner was placed before us.

Here she is with her buddy. He helped her trace her hand on the paper and she thought that was just the funniest thing. She's pretty taken with him.

I don't know what it is, but Hispanic males are drawn to her. Every time we eat at a Mexican restaurant, the waiters all want to stop and talk to her. I think it's the blond curls and big, blue eyes. This particular waiter has never been our waiter at this restaurant, but he and SM always play "peek-a-boo" every time we go here. She's gotten to where she looks for him when we go in. It's funny to me. I joke with Reagan that she's going to marry a Hispanic man when she grows up. He doesn't really want to talk about it. Not the fact that she might marry a Hispanic man. He doesn't want to talk about her getting married...Ever.

So, the Survival Pack was a hit. I guess I'm learning a few things as a mom. If you're going to survive a 2 y/o, you have to.

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Penny said...

I wish more parents thought like you. Most, not all, behavior problems stem from a child being put in a situation where they are expected to act like mini-adults. Sometimes, they really are tired, bored, hungry, or many other things they can't communicate. I've had my stepchild get frustrated with hers on a five hour trip, when it's her fault she didn't even put a toy inside the car!!!! FIVE HOURS!!! Thank God for parents like you that have common sense. :)

K Storm said...

I like that survival pack. I used to carry around a small Magna-Doodle in the diaper bag or purse for Sissy and Boomer. Now they want to play the game on my phone.

ashia said...

this was a GREAT post for me. i need ideas for entertaining at restaurants! i never thought about throwing a sheet of stickers in the bag! i am loving that crayon pouch! that's the cutest thing!

Heather said...

My husband doesn't like to talk about his little girl getting married either, he says she's going to be a nun. And while it is a wonderful calling for those special few, it's unlikely she will be one of them.

Love the survival pack idea, I'm so stealing it too! I always bring crayons and a coloring book, but she quickly tires of it and turns into a wiggle worm. Stickers, I never thought of and love!