With children, talking is teaching . As I recently read on toosmall.org, having real meaningful conversations (with eye contact when I can get it!) is an important way to build up my kiddo’s brains as well as our relationships. So, I made it a goal to tell family stories and build up brain cells as well as a connection to the past.
My Dad was a lot of things: businessman, golfer, artist, prankster, soccer coach, and father. I think my sons would have had a ton of fun with him, but he died when I was in my twenties before they were born. In order to up the communication quotient in my home, I set the goal to share some of the family stories that I grew up hearing in order to round out the impression of the guy who would have been Grandpa Teddy.
During car rides and nighttime story telling, I started by sharing details and quizzing my sons on the details. I made this video yesterday morning and I’d say they scored about a B on recalling our discussions.
Yes, my dad liked golf, soccer, and video games but, I feel compelled to clarify the “bloody baby feet” part of the story told above. This is how I heard it as a kid:
A long time ago, when my dad was only a toddler (a little younger than our baby brother Sawyer), he came down stairs, climbed up on the kitchen counter, found the milk chute*, opened the first door, pushed the milk bottles out of his way, and escaped through the little door to the outside.
My grandma hadn’t seen him do any of this. A little while later, the neighbors returned this naked-but-for-a-diaper toddler who had been leaving little bloody footprints in the snow. What a mischief maker!
*What’s a milkman chute Imagine a one foot cube cubby with a door to the inside of the kitchen and a second door to the outside of the house where a milkman could deliver your fresh glass bottles of milk. That’s what I’m picturing. Per wikipedia, Houses of that era often had a “milk chute” built into an outside wall, a small cabinet with a door on the outside for the milkman to place the milk bottles, and a door on the inside for a resident to retrieve the bottles. Thus the milkman could deliver the milk without entering the home, and the resident could retrieve the milk without going outside.
The challenge to make 6 goals to support the Too Small To Fail values of increasing talking, reading, and singing to my children is supported by #gomighty4kids