Thursday, February 19, 2009

Parenting Ecconomics

I learned about productivity today. Big business does not have all the answers for parenting. Nope. They don't know everything there is to know about productivity. I am grateful for and use some of their notions in parenting. Coffee breaks, limiting your output with a quitting time, and the all powerful mantra, "if you fail to plan you plan to fail have served me well. But, my children, though my business, are not business.

I plan projects, outings, crafts... enriching - teaching activities. For my input, I want the greatest return. Therefore, I try to include all my children in each and every enriching moment. After all, it is the greatest bang for my buck. So what if one LOVES what we are reading and the others leap off the furniture screaming war cries during the tear jerking climax. Six ears are better than two. Or so I thought till lately.

Little Mother and Ladybug's dad took them rock climbing at the gym. Sunshine is still a few months too young so we stayed home. My four year old spotted the bird feeder kit I had brought out the previous day in hopes that we would find time for construction. "Mom! This is the perfect time! Let's do what you said and help the birds this winter."

I dragged my feet because my effort should get a greater return than the experience of one small four year old. After some persuasion from my small companion, we began to mix cornmeal and peanut butter with which to stuff pine cones. We worked together companionably, chatting... I noticed additional confidence build in my small one as she rolled the cone in sunflower seeds.

We held hands as we crunched through the snow, taking turns holding the flashlight. We agreed on the perfect spot to hang our creation, then searched under the trees for more pine cones to make more feeders.

The birds enjoy their winter treat, but not more than Sunshine and I enjoy watching them. The uneconomical use of my effort yielded greater results in my one child than if I had spread the myself on three for the activity.
And... my effort continues to give each time we look out the window together and see a tiny bird, flapping his tiny wings to reach his treat. I get a conspiratorial hug and kiss as the feather bundle flies off. "It's just me and you Bob," she says.

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