Thursday, August 4, 2011

Betty Neels: On The Subject of Children...

Many times in Neeldom I get really irritated at the lame-o-ness of mothers. Lame-i-ness? RDD's sisters are some of the worst mothers ever - they are always shoving their children off on anyone that flies near their radar.  It's nearly always left up to Daisy Araminta Olivia Dawlish Darling to entertain the kids.  While wishing at times that I had someone (nanny anyone?) when my kids were young, I think it's always a good idea to have your own resources when it comes to entertaining kids.

Yesterday my grandkids were a little wound up - they've been here 3 weeks without their dad...and he was finally coming.

I had my youngest (16 year-old) haul the folding table out to the back yard, then I carried out a roll of paper, a container of markers and some tape.  Nearly an hour was spent coloring. Outside. Win.

Another weapon in my arsenal.
My question is: What's in your arsenal?


  1. Almost every kid loves to tell stories - we make them interactive (my grandkids and I) with crazy voices and as much physical demonstration as possible. We always talk about two little boys named Derek & Jared, etc. Recently, with my nephew, Ron, who has Down Syndrome, we've started telling "scary movie stories," where he acts out all the scary parts. He LOVES it. And it's great for a grandma/auntie who is disabled - they stay close by but can move and expel energy.

    Of course, as a clay artist, I always have that as my "ace in the hole," and keep inexpensive polymer clays on hand for kids of all ages to play with. (The clay I use can be very pricey and is only available (to me, here in Podunk, USA) via mail, adding to its cost.) Kids always love making something and then having it baked, just like Aunt Cin does with the stuff she sells! Wowee!

    And of course,we have a huge yard in a very safe neighborhood - the things the kids think to do here are almost endless. Derek & Jared love playing ball on the hillside and having to run down after the ball constantly. (Go figure!) Most kids love rolling down the hills, or doing it on cardboard or an old cookie sheet,with or without snow. We've discussed picking up some sleds to keep on hand but they seem to like to improvise. ;-)


  2. Betty van den BetsyAugust 4, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    How about Make Believe? "Now, sweetie, you pretend to be cozy old lady who loves children and allows them to be delightfully naughty without ever actually breaking a Coalport platter or Hepplewhite what-not nor scratching a great socking Bentley, and I'll pretend to be a rich doctor's wife who is in another room, arranging flowers while you make sure your brothers and sisters are happy and feel loved."

    When they're little, a dishpan or something with a bit of water in it, set on a thick towel on the floor, can be fascinating. Set outside it's even better! One of mine currently loves to create things from colored duct tape, all stuck onto itself. Is this normal?

  3. I will have older children visiting me soon, so thanks for the ideas, Bettys! With my toddler, my inexpensive arsenal for entertainment contains some bottles of bubble solution, a sticker book, and a baby pool with cups, a bucket, and a watering can.

    One can imagine that the lame-o mothers in Neelsdom will produce male offspring just like the RDDs: "arrogant" and "wanting their own way" as adults, waiting to be cut down to size by a girl brought up by circumstances to be sensible. Their female offspring will be replicas of themselves: good-natured and spoiled, blissfully ignorant of the inconvenience to others who pave their way for them.

  4. We recently had the grandkids and we kept them busy with games and outside playing. They don't have animals at home so the dog and cat were good distractions for the little girls.
    When my own were little, I made them play a lot. Outside, in the kitchen where I was, in the basement if they were older. And I didn't spend a lot of time playing with them, but once you've got two or three the keep themselves amused.

    Won't be checking in for a few days, my mother passed away Wednesday morning. She was 95 and had been suffering, so while it is always painful to lose a mom, this was a blessed relief for her. The joy of knowing she's run the race and finished was overwhelming. Could I ask for prayers for family peace? We've got some bitterness between brothers, not about possessions, just hard heads and hardening hearts. The funeral is Saturday and there will be lots of mixing of ex's and out laws, too.
    I'll check back next week. You all are a comfort to me. Blessings, Betty Mary

  5. Hopefully, dear BettyMary, love and respect for your mother will overcome pride and the need to be "right," allowing all of you to celebrate the life of a warrior for the Lord.

    My mother passed 14 years ago after a 2 year illness. She was much younger, but it was still a relief. It's much harder to watch someone you love suffer than to watch them enter the Kingdom.



  6. Betty Mary -- My thoughts and prayers are with you and with your family. 95 is a great age - there's so much to look back on and appreciate.

    My mother was 77 when she died. At her memorial service, the dean of the cathedral spoke of her, stuff I wasn't familiar with. Then my aunt told stories of their childhood -- and they weren't the stories Mum used to tell -- so even in death I felt I was meeting new sides of my mother.

    All the best -- Betty Magdalen

  7. Betty Mary-

    Sorry to hear about your Mom. 95! A long and fruitful life to be celebrated.
    My prayers for you and your wide-ranging family are included, of course.
    Betty Barbara

  8. Dear Betty Mary,
    You and your family are in my prayers.

  9. Dear Betty Mary,

    I hope your day has been full of happy memories retold and unwise thoughts withheld. 95 is a miracle and I hope you enjoyed her to the end. All my prayers are with you,

    Betty Keira

  10. Thanks for the kind words and the prayers and support. Peace reigned. My one brother never showed up. We tried to find him, but the VA couldn't locate him at the room they provide for him and he hasn't answered his cell phone. The two hard headed brothers kept their distance and no one stepped out of line. My two sisters did a marvelous job of planning the service and setting up a place to meet after the burial. And I got to just be Grandma to Keelin and Brynn, holding them in turns during the mass. You ladies are good! I'm making you permanent on my praying people list!

  11. Hugs to Betty Mary. A special thanks to Him Who is the Author of peace.