Thursday, February 16, 2017

Learning Tower Love

My kids love to help in the kitchen.  I don't know if this is because food is such a significant part of their lives, what with the whole One Potato thing, or if children the World over find it fun to throw flour and sugar all over the place and call it "cooking".  Unfortunately, the reality of cooking with toddlers is less Pinterest-y and more pain-in-the-ass-y, so I'm a fan of anything that keeps messes and migraines to a minimum. 

My number one tip for cooking with kids is to invest in a Learning Tower.  I know that these can initially seem like a big investment, but we use ours all of the time (read: almost daily) and it's significantly safer than having your kids stand on a regular step stool or a chair.  Take it from me, you really don't want to learn that you need a learning tower by having your kid fall off the side of a dining room chair and onto his head.  The one we have folds up, so I can easily store it in the pantry when it's not in use (a BIG plus, as our kitchen is pretty small), the height is adjustable so that I'm able to lower it as the kids get bigger, and they can easily climb in and out of it, but don't ever fall off of it.  If you follow me on Instagram (as you should), you've definitely seen our learning tower in action; in the last week alone we've made heart-shaped cookies, mini banana muffins, and at least three dinners from our One Potato Box.

So, to all of my friends who posted photos of their kids making Valentine goodies while perched on precarious step stools, I implore you to order one of these, stat.  Or, at the very least, mention to your Mother-in-Law that your kid fell off the counter while helping you cook, and follow that up with a link to your preferred learning tower, and one is sure to show up on your doorstep within the week (along with some snarky parenting advice, but hey, it's a price worth paying).

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Here, Read This

Finally, a parenting book that doesn't put me to sleep.  

I'm not big on reading parenting books.  This is primarily because at the end of a long, exhausting day with my kids the last thing I want to do is read about children, but it's also because I figure my kids are going to end up in therapy no matter what, so I may as well save my time and energy for more important things, such as binge watching The Crown.

Lately, however, I've been really struggling with parenting a four year old and a two-and-a-half year old.  The tantrums - oh, the tantrums - are really something else, and since Cedars Sinai doesn't seem to have a return policy for the children birthed there, I figured I needed some guidance.  A friend loaned me a copy of the book Permission to Parent and I'm so glad that she did.  If you have kids who are at the age where they're becoming more independent and, as a result, are pushing boundaries, this book is for you.  It's an easy read, which is so important when you can barely keep your eyes open after 7PM, and full of really good, practical advice for how to assert your parental authority in a firm, but gentle way.

If you're committed to raising a confident, well-adjusted child, this book is a must read.