Ebb and Flow of Rainbows

Our family may not have gender-nonconforming children but ALL children should feel safe, loved and honored for who they are not the gender of their body or their emotional and physical likes or dislikes. We encourage our children to be individuals and not worry about boy things vs. girl things.

This should never have been a big deal or a reason for conversation with anyone regardless of relationship with our family and children. However, the amount of times our children have been teased and bullied due to their choice of clothing, accessories, nail polish, etc is unacceptable. No individual belongs in a box. Everyone is free to explore their own personality and interests without tying it to gender. ~ Sassy Viking Mama

Raising a Rainbow: An Interview with Author Lori Duron – Discover

We chat with Lori Duron, author and blogger of Raising My Rainbow, about her blog-to-book experience, parenting her gender-creative son, and being a positive resource in the community.

Raising a Rainbow: An Interview with Author Lori Duron — Discover

Gaming Families

Last night was session zero for us to create characters for a new role playing game (RPG). Potluck dinner was cooked, children ran around the yard, friends chatted. Eventually, the children were brought inside and set up for an indoor dinner picnic. Food as warm as the laughter and smiles around the table graced us. Children’s giggles and pleads for more our musical accompaniment of the evening.

Slowly, the tables cleared and discussions of characters, concepts, and stories began to emerge. Meanwhile the children played, watched movies and bonded with each other. They wandered in and out to roll dice and hear our stories then deciding this was too slow a night moved on to their next adventure until exhaustion claimed them and sleepover ensued.

Meanwhile the adults plotted, planned and grasped at ideas as they began to understand the GameMaster’s (GM) vision and find a character concept they hope to breathe life into.

I love the vision, creation, storytelling, social skills, math skills, motor skills, reading that tabletop gaming and RPGs bring to our life. I have gamed since Dungeons and Dragons first came out. I love all sorts of games, as do my children.

They love it so much they we have kid game nights each week, just like the adults. Depending on their scope and focus of the day we either do an RPG like My Little Pony; Cards, or a variety of board games. Birthdays and holidays are excitement for board games. It is quality time that even their friends want to come over and share.

They are learning that games can be an adventure and time of sharing with those you care for. It can be a way to make a new friend and dream that anything is possible. I hope gaming is a bond that we always share and enjoy in our lives.

Blessings,

Irisa

Letting Go and Trusting Growth

Another school year has begun in Ohio. My eldest has begun third grade and my second child has begun kindergarten. Fortunately, both children are very excited to begin school. I am sad to have them out of the home and miss them terribly. Thankfully, my youngest is not yet school age so I am not completely child free during the days.

I am not someone who looks forward to them returning to school. Seven years ago, I retired to be a stay at home parent. Being with them has been a blessing and I am not ready for this phase of our lives to end.

We live in an amazing school district that works with the parents. This year I am looking to be more involved with the school as I have better opportunities to participate with the school and have the youngest cared for.

I have not had an opportunity to be a room parent or participate in the Parent-Teacher Organization. So this will be an interesting experience for mama; plus an opportunity to meet other adults in the area.

As much as I miss my children, they are growing, learning and having invaluable life experiences while they are away from us. They are becoming more dynamic, fascinating people each and every day. So, we shall continue on this journey together and see where it takes us.

Happy Schooling,

Irisa

parenting

schooldays

Wildlings, Errands, and Parental Judgement

The snow is calming my spirit. I am drained from school prep and two errands with my wildlings. This morning was an inability to focus and by the time I had one kid dressed another was undressed, sigh. However, we made it to school in time.

Off to the grocery store. Only one trip running off and chasing the youngest while telling the middle child to stay put. Only one unknown item in the cart at checkout;caught before paying thank you!

Library. Dear gods I am exhausted from the library. Teaching the youngest to not run off ; not remove all the books, and not climb the shelves. Reminding the middle boy to stay off the computers … books please! Keeping them both within eyesight. The men’s room there is nice. I know this from having to fish the two year old out of there.

Then we rode the elevator upstairs so I could check out two books. We’re fine, we’re fine. Elevator stopped. Alarm sounded. Okay, I got this. Running off once I got where I needed to be. Fine. Fine. Some illusion of control maintained. Long enough to get two books and go back downstairs.

Mad toddler because I wouldn’t let him set off the alarm. He laid on the floor crying while I checked out. It’s fine. The library staff was nice to me. Okay. Coats on, trying to leave and toddler meltdown commence.

And there it is. A screaming, kicking, tantruming toddler. Refuse to walk, fine. I tried to pick him up; now the kicking, thrashing, and sliding out of my hands. We make it outside; oh yeah my coat isn’t zipped and it is 18 degrees out. I can’t keep ahold of him and don’t want to drop him on the sidewalk. I attempt to put him on his feet.

Down and on the ground screaming tantrum. A mom and her kid walk by me, muttering comments and giving me dirty looks. Thanks for the judgement lady. I didn’t need that. What i needed was a moment of kindness. Would it have been too much to pick up the bag of spilled books and help me out? No, instead taking a shot when I was already feeling defeated is exactly what I needed.

Why is it so hard to be kind and supportive? Maybe you are lucky and have never had a child so strong willed that cooperation takes longer to learn. Maybe you have forgotten or never had kids.

I love my wildlings but teaching them how to best communicate, act in public, and getting them to listen can take longer. In the meantime be patient with the parents as we navigate our children and take the time to teach them without breaking their spirits. Have kindness for us because that can be what we need to survive the hard moments. The moments our kids are arguing and we are digging deep for strength and patience, that is when we need kindness because self-doubt about our skills might already be the loud voice in our heads.

Solidarity!

Irisa

Uno Card Game as Pre-School Mathematics

As a stay at home parent who does not send their child to pre-school I am always looking for ways to teach my child that will not drive me crazy. Today’s focus was on mathematics. I intensely dislike math from my own school days. As such it is imperative that I find ways to make it as fun as possible for both our sake.

Some time ago I realized that Uno is a wonderful tool for pre-school math. It teaches colors, matching, numbers and addition. As he masters these basics we can increase his awareness to the concept of logic and strategy in gameplay. We started playing when my son was three and it is one of his favorite games.

As he is little and needs help, we play with our cards face up on the table. With each hand we need to say the color of the card and number or wording on the card. Typically, we play for 20 minutes or so at a time. Basically, the time it takes for the one year old to eat a snack. Also, I have found 20 minutes to be a good time limit for me as breaking down the games and keeping the pre-schooler focused can be exhausting.

Learning can be unconventional if you simply take the time to think about the games you enjoy and the foundation skills children need to succeed. Add in a bit of creativity and patience and the unconventional can be fun for all!

Happy Learning!

Irisa