As parents we like to have a plan, but a huge part of being a parent is thinking on your feet. Sometimes it’s how to answer a difficult question posed by a kid. Sometimes it’s figuring out how to clean up a major diaper blow-out with no wipes on hand. Sometimes it’s explaining to your curious toddler why that nice police officer just pulled you over. Sometimes it’s navigating the unspoken social contracts on playground. Sometimes it’s just doing whatever you possibly can to get your baby to sleep.
And sometimes, as is often the case for me, it’s improvising at meal times. Usually that means working with what you have in the fridge and pantry, and coming up with something that everyone will enjoy (or at least eat without complaining). Other times it means finding a way to make mealtimes fun or interesting.
I like to think that I’ve gotten pretty good at improvising. And if we’re honest, really, that’s half of parenting, isn’t it?
Take Easter, for instance. It’s late on Easter Sunday Eve, and everyone except me is in bed, fast asleep. That’s when I realize that I (and, in my defense, my lovely and brilliant wife) have completely forgotten to put together anything for the boys to find from the Easter Bunny in the morning. I had the foresight to pick up some treats, but have no baskets or anything else to put them in.
So I do what any good parent would do: I raid the boys’ art supplies and have a late-night craft session. I come up with a plan, say a little prayer that this will work, and then after much cutting, folding, gluing, and coloring, I had myself two custom-made Easter paper baskets. I feel like they need a little bit something special, so out to the yard I creep (at 1AM) with scissors in hand, to trim some grass to fill them out. Then a little bit of cartooning, to create an adorable bunny face to adorn the side of each. Add the candy, and BOOM! Easter is saved!
We do what we have to do to make our kids smile.
Have a great story of a time you had to improvise as a parent?
The fine people at Mott’s are running a Good & Honest campaign, to celebrate that parents everywhere are just doing the best they can for their kids. They sent me some products to try (the boys in particular are big fans of their applesauce) and asked me to share about a moment of having to make things up as I go.
And now it’s time for you to share yours! Leave a comment below, on the Daddy Doctrines Facebook page, or on Twitter (tagging me @ChrisRoutly and use the hashtags #Motts and #GoodAndHonest) to be entered into a drawing for a $50 gift card and some tasty Mott’s products! Be sure to use the widget below to make certain your entries are in! Good luck!
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Mott’s and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.