It's easy to point a finger at anyone else in charge of my children for a portion of the week for influencing their imperfect behavior, current obsessions (Star Wars---though that may be my husband's doing), and food aversions (my baby used to love black beans, tomatoes and green beans. What happened????)
Who knows. Tastes change. Kids want to fit in (no one else is eating bread crust). Independence. This 'village' that is helping us raise our children, either hired caregivers or family, I'm sure are doing it better than me at times (like when I should have prevented my one year old from taking a tumble down the stairs. Carpeted stairs but still!)
There are two outside influences that have worked amazingly for me......I mean, my son. The first had to do with potty training a few years ago. No matter how hard I tried to persuade him with stickers, charts, applause and finally resorting to mini M & M's, I couldn't get the job done, even when I felt certain he was ready. Seeing the other big kids at his day care convinced him he is ready to move on to the next chapter in his underwear wearing life. Overnight, he became a professional flusher.
The second influence is in regards to academics. Our smarty-pants two year old recognizes every letter of the alphabet but our older one has forgotten some . We read to the boys every night as part of the traditional bedtime routine. I could hear Alex complain and whine when my husband insisted he sound out letters and words. Suddenly, we are worried he is behind. On the weekends I want to work on writing letters and discuss consonants and vowels. He insists on drawing Darth Vader and Light Sabers.
I used a food coloring marker to write on the sandwich, cheese for windows
Lima beans with red bell pepper stars
A few months into kindergarten, during dinner one night, Alex announces he can spell the word bus. "It's B, then U, then, um, S!" That was the first word I learned to spell! That was the first word my husband learned to spell too! We were so excited. By the following week he was spelling run, bad, but and sit. Next I hear, "Mom, I know what 2 and 3 make. 5!" Now my mind is blown. "You know math?!"
This whold independent thing is happening much faster than I thought it would. I always thought the parents would get to teach their kids all the important stuff so long as they put in the effort (that it was actually our responsibility). Our kids don't necessarily want to learn everything from us. I guess it's a little like my professional job. Sometimes a customer just needs to hear the same exact thing from someone else in order to be happy and move on with their life.
My son's classmates all want to have a look at what's inside his lunch box and Alex loves the attention. This time, being different is paying off. I also have new spelling and math ideas to include in his lunch box to keep learning fun!