Once again, for the 3,347th time, the husband is MIA for awhile. This time was only a week, so it’s small potatoes, but I decided to write this post because these are all things I’ve done to pass the time and keep the kiddo entertained…whether the separation was for a few days, or for months on end.
So here’s a peak in to one of our weeks just me & my little partner in crime…and of course, the dog.
The theme of this particular week…Christmas!
- Advent Reflections: Toddler Edition
The kiddo has been particularly enjoying this one. For two years now I’ve looked and looked for a young kids version of the typical readings, prayers, and reflections that many Catholics read on each Sunday (or everyday, if that’s your style) of Advent. Finally! I give you, Make Room For Jesus by Twenty-Third Publications. It’s a tiny workbook of daily thoughts, activities, and prayers for little ones. Especially great for those who are still at the age where they have the attention span of a goldfish. Added bonus, it doesn’t require much brain cell function from me, so we can sit and go over it while I hold my head and sip my first cup of coffee.
2. A Creepy Little Elf
Another big hit lately is this creepy ass little elf that inhabits our house for the majority of December. He’s been up to all sorts of hilariously shenanigans this week. Red has had a blast finding him everyday, then subsequently taking a picture to share with Daddy once he’s home.
3. A Cozy Cradle for the Baby
Kiddos each get a “cradle” (my son’s is made out of paper, he made it in Sunday School), a handful of “straw” (in this case, yellow yarn), and every time the do something nice for someone else, they get to put a piece of “straw” in the “cradle” in hopes that by the time Christmas morning arrives, they’ll have done enough good deeds to provide a cozy bed for the “baby Jesus” (the little baby doll they’ll get on Christmas). It’s a super adorable way to teach little ones about the spirit of the season of Advent.
4. A Giant Gingerbread Man
I’ll be honest here, I wanted so badly to sit with my kid and help him make his first Gingerbread house. I had great intentions. Visions of Mary Poppins and Sugar Plums were dancing in my head. But alas, with the (somewhat self imposed) work load I have this week, the last thing I needed was another project. Never fear! Because I found the perfect answer. A giant gingerbread man, frosting and candies included. For 7 bucks I made dinner in peace while the kiddo had a great, festive time.
5. Free Reign Over the Ornaments
This one doesn’t really need much explanation. I lost my mind, got desperate, and let the 4 year old decorate the tree however he damn well pleased. It kept him entertained for most of the day. If I use the excuse that Dad wants to help with the ornaments in order to justify rearranging them, does that make me a jerk? It was super cute watching him decorate, regardless.
6. Saint Nicholas Day
On the night before Saint Nicholas Day, the little ones put their shoes under the tree, or by the fireplace, or by the door. While they sleep, Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus) leaves little treats in their shoes. It’s a great tradition that makes them even more excited for Christmas, and helps them to learn of the story of Saint Nicholas, and the sentiment of giving and selflessness.
So here we are, plugging along, trying to make the best of it as always.
I’d love to hear of all the crazy ways you find to distract the kids when their other parent is gone, so hit up the comment section.
For now, I raise my glass to you, other home front-ing parents. Stay strong, stay steadfast, drink a lot of coffee
Don’t forget to check out: My Favorite Christmas Book for My Military Kid!