Monday, July 13, 2015

A whopper of a weekend and the goody bag plan

It's Monday and I'm relieved. By now I'm used to crazy weekends but this one was unusually so.

The husband was supposed to be home after about a month but had to cancel at the last moment. The kids were sorely disappointed and I was saddled with two very sulky kids over three very long days of an extended weekend. To make matters worse N had loads of pending homework from some classes she had missed. 


The goody bag plan 

We decided to tackle the biggest demon first - a bunch of over 50 math problems to be done in a day. Wondering how to get through it all without bringing out the witch in me I brought out the goody-bag plan. I think I defied all perfect parenting mantras by linking reward directly to performance but desperate times asked for desperate measures. 


I picked up some inexpensive goodies - chocolates, craft supplies, stationery items and put them all into a bag. I felt I was running short and so I also made out some coupons which could be 'encashed' for things ranging from a hug to a doughnut. After every five sums I'd let N dip into it and pick a goody. It proved to be SUCH a success that even H gave up his iPad and sat down to race N over those sums just so he could have a go at the goodies.

N had a great time feeling around in the bag trying to guess what there was and offering to pick out things for H. 

And then some more..


That was Friday and it went pretty well. Here's what we crammed into the next two days:

- Dropped in at Mc Donald for a Happy Meal. Why they still like it is beyond me - they're not too keen on the food and have far outgrown those toys, yet.... 
- Had a tiny pizza party at home 
- Made pani puri together. N has developed a huge liking for it and I'm quite thrilled to have a PP partner.
- Went out to a dosa joint one night where the kids enjoy watching how multiple dosas are made simultaneously, more than actually eating them. 
- Then we dragged out mattresses into the living room and had a sleepover with just the three of us.
- And we also managed to work on some school projects.




Now that I've got all that down I realise a lot of our happiness stems from food and I'm not even a decent enough cook! Wierd? Ironical? What?

I'm beyond analyses, though. I won't say it wasn't fun but it really would be simpler to have The Husband home. Sigh!

So what do you do to tide over difficult times with kids? Long holidays, disappointments? I'd love some help here.

24 comments:

  1. I love the innovative and creative things you do with kids. The goody bag is a neat idea. Glad that it worked out so well for you.
    I think, there' something magical about, Happy Meals. Though Aaryan has outgrown his love for Happy Meals but when I am traveling for work and am near a McD, I always pick a HM and get a new toy for him and give them together when he is back home. He is sweet enough to accept it but I am sure that time is not far off when I am going to get exasperated teen looks from him!
    I think threats and/or making him realize and then let him decide on his own what's good/right for him, worked for me :D

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    1. Ha ha Shilpa you too are a happy meal mom! The enthusiasm just doesn't seem to wear off.

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  2. Sounds like you're very creative in your desperation. I admire you with your innovative ideas to keep them plugging through the schoolwork. Good for you. Not easy when you're the solo parent with your hubby gone. Give yourself a pat on the back.

    Oh, I remember those Happy Meals, too, and the McDonalds playground with all the balls. That was a while ago since my little boys are now 19 and 21. Sniff. Time flies.

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    1. Thanks Cathy that pat on the back was exactly what I needed. 19 and 21 - Wow! That must feel so good. Time does fly.

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  3. Looks like you did awesome with the goody bag. I'm in no position to give you advice or suggestions when I'm stuck in the same boat. At least, I only have one for now. For now, here's a whole lot of respect and a big hug, Tullika. Cooking together is a good activity to keep kids engaged. Or so I've learnt.

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    1. Thanks Sid. We do enjoy the cooking. In fact doing anything together with them is fun - cooking, crafting, reading, taking a walk even cleaning sometimes. One just has to have time on hand and a relaxed frame of mind (which, unfortunately, we often don't have).

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  4. Love the goody bag idea!

    And Mc Dondalds thing lol my son's favorite restaurant is McD and what he eats there? Nothing besides French Fries which also needs to be pushed inside him. But yes its the toy that makes the place that it is!

    You guys really had a great time :)

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    1. Thanks for dropping by Smita. Oh yes - the things we have to do to get the kids to eat!

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  5. Wow...that was some weekend. Wonder how I'll ever keep my kids happy...theres no happy meal happening here, i live in hell. But I could try that goody bag. Wow. My kids are three and one so right now the most we do is blare some music and dance our heads off! Usually works ;-)

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    1. Hmm music and dancing - that's a great idea. We do have some favourites that we could use. Thanks for visiting.

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  6. I admire the innovative ways you come up with to keep the kids happy and content. Here, ordering seems to be my mantra and I know that won't work for much longer. Sigh, I just want a break from being a parent, an adult and a human being on some days! Hugs to you for making the most of a long weekend. You rock! But, you know that already ;)

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    1. I'm sure you've heard that one about necessity being the mother of invention - that's exactly what happens. I want a break too. Let's get one together. We rarely order in when the Husband isn't around - going out adds so much more to the eating experience.

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  7. I too sometimes feel that most of the happy times and bonding are related to food. What a wonderful way to cheer up the kids :D

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    1. Actually none of us are real foodies but we like the whole idea of watching it being made and just messing around in the kitchen. Yeah food is important like that.

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  8. I have twins too. And, when they are sulky I get either every creative or I will just let them play a game on my cell 😇.
    Well...being honest here.
    Nice goody bag

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    1. Oooh where have you been all this while - a twin mom with a name like SlimExpectations - sounds so my type of person. Ah yes virtual games - I allow that too but only when I'm very desperate. Besides, my daughter isn't so much into them. Off to visit you now.

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  9. You did good. The goodie bag idea sure rocked. Me, I love cooking. When the husband is out of town, the kids and I indulge in our favorite foods cooked by me of course. There are a few dishes that the husband does not like but we do and this is the time to make them. :) And, then there are movies. Any superhero, animated ones work fine. These days I am also showing them the movies I have enjoyed watching. That always works!

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    1. Movies are a great idea. We do that sometimes, specially since I still enjoy most of the disney movies - it's the Avengers kind of stuff that I find tough to sit through. I thought I'd take them out for one but the roads here were blocked due to the Palaki Festival (which was why they had a long weekend) and couldn't find anything great on the telly.

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  10. Awesome! Goody bag is so innovative!

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  11. What a fun idea this goody bag! Kudos to you for such a happy turnaround of the day! :)

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    1. Thanks Aditi, it did go rather well.

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  12. That's a cute one. I am sure your kids would have loved the day :) Tulika - you are a fun Mum :)

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    1. I try to be Parul but it's hard with the daily pressures.

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