On Magpies and Things We Thought We Didn’t Want to Do: Stuff I wrote other places this week

IMG_0352[1]Just in case you’re not feeling full from yesterday’s photo-filled post on shallots and butter, here’s more stuff I’ve written other places this week: Over at VillageQ, I write about the challenges and rewards of forcing kids to do stuff that they think they won’t like that you know they will:

I’m not just talking about run-of-the-mill things like eating and sleeping and going to the bathroom, although of course most children at some point or another will swear up and down that they under no circumstances want or need to eat or sleep or poop even though you can tell — say, by the subtle hint of the series of massive meltdowns punctuated by alternate fits of giggling and sobbing and poking of siblings — that they desperately need to. I’m talking about things like going for hikes out in nature. Or going to see a really cool exhibit at the art gallery. These are both, coincidentally, things that I forced my children to do this past weekend. Things that they both swore up and down they would rather die than do. “You’re making me waste my weekend!” Rowan snarled at the prospect of a beautiful country hike with our good friends and four dogs. “I’m not going inside! I’ll just wait in the lobby the whole time!” Isaac whined in the parking lot at the art gallery.

At Today’s Parent, I write about Isaac’s propensity to — shall we say — “borrow” shiny things, like my new meat thermometer:

I wouldn’t say outright that Isaac steals shiny things. But he does borrow them, squirreling them away in several different hiding places. Yesterday, as I ransacked the house for the meat thermometre (perfect bait for my son with its shiny silver cord and pokey bit to stick into the meat, so much like a sword), I found one of my rings in his closet. Under his bed, I found, not one but two, pairs of shiny silver fingernail clippers. He takes fancy spiral paperclips from my desk drawers. A month or so ago, I found my engraved silver business card holder, a gift from a good friend when I started freelancing, tucked behind Isaac’s bookshelf. I put it in my pocket, and pulled it out when he got home from school. “Isaac,” I said, “guess where I found this?” And he looked at me and a grin spread slowly across his face and he began to giggle and then we laughed and laughed and laughed.

Have a great weekend! Go force your kids to do things!