anyway, i'm supposed to give some parenting advice. i'm no parent, but i have been referred to as "the baby whisperer" more than once. this doesn't make me qualified to hand out parenting tips though. you don't need my advice, but ask and you shall receive:
- have fun. turn on music and have a dance party. sing out loud in the car (in an opera voice... not like i've ever done this or anything...) you'll look and sound like a fool, but they will think it is awesome.
- relax, especially when they are freaking out. they smell fear, so don't be afraid of the inevitable tantrums.
- everyone is busy, but make sure you drop everything when they just want to cuddle and watch dora.
- ask how school was and help them with their homework.
- try to eat dinner together.
- let them wear tutus and tiaras to school.
- call aunt mooey if you need a break, i'll be over in a flash.
not to get all sappy, but i have worked with some pretty disadvantaged kids before. some of them didn't have parents at home to love them, believe in them, support them, etc. if you show a kid that they have the potential to succeed, something they may have never heard from anyone before, it's amazing how much they will push themselves. sometimes their teachers had given up on them completely, so they had no one to turn to. i always gravitate to the "bad kid" because most likely someone has told them they'll never make it (at least in the environment in which i worked). give them a little time and attention and they might see they are worthy of succeeding. granted, maeve and addie will never be put in the position where they don't get the love and support they need, but every kid needs a little push now and then.