By: Brooke Takhar
You never know what will inspire you as a parent. In my Instagram feed I recently spotted a beautiful picture posted by Natalie Ferrari-Morton, the creator of the divine East Van Jam. She had taken some oversized rhubarb leaves and created a soft green living carpet to surprise her son when he woke up.
It hit me hard. Duh – THIS is how you pique your kid’s interest in something you love. Be Roald Dahl-like and fantastical and whimsical and fun. Aka not me – a “busy is best” Mom on her phone, shovelling goldfish crackers and Apps down her kid’s throat.
So, here’s my turning point. I am going to actively share what I’m interested in with my daughter, instead of being resentful that she takes up the time I want to devote to that stuff. Make my passions hers. Make my hobbies hers. Show her that Mama is cool and has cool taste and cool ideas. Here’s the beginning of her new education.
Mama loves Farmers Markets
If this works, it’s a winning one-two punch. I get someone to help me carry overflowing bushels of ripe fruit AND perhaps if she is trusted to choose the swarthiest trio of beets, maybe she’ll actually take a bite. (Totally worth the shock of red poop.)
Mama loves Art Books
Every corner of our apartment has a stray book poking out, so I know my love for a hearty tome has already been expressed and passed down. Here’s the thing though. Before I carefully bring out my favourite 400 lb $400 art books, is it cool if I gently tie her arms behind her back so she doesn’t actually touch them? If a single page of my James Jean books gets bent, there’s no amount of deep breathing that will keep me calm. Hmm, this sharing exercise might have to wait a few more years.
Mama loves Paleo Muffins
My latest obsession is a good Paleo muffin recipe. Since she has already memorized most of the Betty Crocker Test Kitchen videos on YouTube, it seems to me we’re halfway to combining passions. If I just relax and accept that the process will take double the time and most likely result in double the clean up, this will work. Letting her help me measure coconut flour, crack eggs, dump, stir, whisk and spray as we make some muffins will take up a pleasant afternoon and ensure she stays interested in turning a few ingredients into a totally tasty breakfast-on-the-go.
Mama loves Nail Polish
The only time I don’t gnaw on my hands like a 17 year old bucket of stress and angst is when my nails are polished. Last week, on a particularly tired and uninspired Friday night, we settled in the bathroom and I popped open my bag of nail polish to let her go to town. At the time I thought I was phoning it in, but by letting her horribly paint our nails, she was focused and calm and engrossed for a crazy long amount of time. And then, when she was done, the pride beaming out of her face almost blinded me from seeing how much more of the counter was covered in polish than our actual nails. She loved it. She loved that I stepped back and let her just do it. It was a great start to this new relationship we’re forging, shaped around teaching and trust, and making memories that are totally Instagram-worthy.
Do tell – what interests of yours have you dared share with your kids?
Brooke Takhar is a mama of one monkey, based out of Vancouver, BC. She blogs about the trials and triumphs of parenting at missteenussr.com. When she’s not obsessing about her lack of DIY skills and exotic face creams, she shares her life and loves via Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.