A little story and a recipe
My husband travels a lot for work, and it seems sometimes that when he’s away, it’s the perfect time for all heck to break loose. Luckily nothing so terrible, but recently our 3-year-old has taken to turning from a generally sweet kid into a mad whirling dervish. “Ta-ta for EVER!” came the prelude to a slammed door and long, quiet sulk. “I don’t LIKE green sauce!!!” went the rant, along with a plateful of ravioli and the offending pesto sauce launched across the dining table.
She’s had her share of challenges and illness over the last winter, and she misses her dad when he’s gone. Still, nothing excuses this behavior. We’ve had several conversations and time-outs and consequences, but I often wonder how much gets through to my little one. We sometimes come away from these attempts more bewildered with each other than understood, and we haven’t even hit the teenage years. Not even close.
The other day, however, I had a glimpse of the world through a 3-year-old’s eyes, and what a mysterious and wondrous place it was. We had gathered some of her stuffed, fuzzy friends around the kitchen table for an afternoon tea party and chat, a different kind of time-out from the previous ones we had tried. As it turned out, I learned a lot in that moment.
Little One: Mommy?
Little One: What’s a chuther?
Me: I don’t know; where did you hear that word?
Little One: You said it.
Me, thinking back to our conversation a moment earlier: Hmmmm…. Oh, I said that while Daddy’s away, let’s not test limits or get into any trouble. We need to look out for each other. That means I take care of you, you take care of me, we take care of each other, okay?
Little One: Okay. (Then, after a few beats): Mommy?
Little One: But can we do some more looking for chuthers?
And so… that’s what we did. I know we have more work to do on these behavioral issues and whatever is behind the whirling dervish angst of my little one. That will come. But some times call for a break in routine, a different perspective, a mind open to possibility. That afternoon, after a sociable tea time with friends, a spirited hunt on hands and knees with our magnifying glass, and a cuddle in our cozy blanket fort, I’m fairly certain we came very close to finding a chuther. And as maddeningly elusive as those critters are, I’ll take that as a small breakthrough.
Ginger, Lemon & Honey Tisane
Not really a tea at all, just steeped ginger with lemon & honey, this tisane is great for soothing any little ailment, including sore throats, tummies, and the blues.
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1/2-inch long peeled stem ginger, sliced into coin-size discs
- fresh juice of 1 lemon (more or less to taste)
- 2 Tbs. honey (more or less to taste)*
*Consumption of honey is not safe for children under 1 year of age.
- Add the ginger to the boiling water and let steep on the counter (away from small hands) for 15 minutes.
- Drain or scoop out the ginger pieces, then add lemon and honey to taste and stir.
- Let cool to desired temperature (lukewarm is safe for little ones and soothing for all), then pour into two teacups and enjoy with a chuther.