In a year full of chaos and uncertainty, despite the pandemic and other disasters, there were at least moments of closeness, lightness and relief for the parents. We asked and you got the tiny victories that got you through this wretched year.
Becca Gridley, a mother in New Milford, Connecticut, discovered that if she put her 17-month-old child on the floor with a pile of small stuffed animals and a salad spinner, she could cook dinner and unload the dishwasher continuously as the little girl could gave every toy a “ride”. A pair of $ 1 worth of cat and dog masks kept Alice Henchley’s 2-year-old twins barking and meowing at each other for an hour. And Katherine Smith in Tacoma, Washington was able to get her 3-year-old to put his coat on without yelling or bargaining.
Hearing about all of these victories brought a little joy and peace in the midst of our darkest days. Below you will find further articles that were particularly well received by readers in 2020. We hope they give you some laughs and a little inspiration as we prepare for another year of pandemic parenting.
“I sat on my 3 year old’s bed for a second. Without being asked, he brought me my book and said: “Here mom, you read, I play!” I had to relax and read my book while he played alone in his room! – Gabby Hernandez, McAllen, Texas
“I was fed up with figuring out which tiny socks belonged to my 1-year-old versus my 4-year-old. Now the baby only has striped socks and the older child has single-colored socks. The older child’s socks are passed on to their cousins. “- Janice A. Clear, Brooklyn
“My mother came every week to watch my 2½ year old. We haven’t seen her in a while, but she sent a ‘grandma box’ – basically a shoebox full of trinkets and craft supplies that she can find around the house, and if we miss her or need a pick-me – up, it becomes our treasure chest. – Jen Ruwisch, Fairfield, Conn.
“My 3 year old daughter is obsessed with posing as a kitten. So I’ll play Mama Cat and she’ll do EVERYTHING! “Mama kittens always wash their kitty’s fur …” and BAM. Shampooed her hair without resistance. ‘Meow! Kittens LOVE scrambled eggs for breakfast! “… And they’re gone. Overall victory. – Melissa Thomasma, Victor, Idaho
“I got my toddler to take a shower by calling it a party shower. We had cake (soap), gifts (toys wrapped in a washcloth) and danced. “- Gina Vasoli, Philadelphia
“To keep my toddler busy during dinner, I fill a large bowl with soap and water and leave it in the sink. She is happy to stand on a stool and “mix soup” with cups and spoons for 20 minutes. – Sam Bodnar, Nashville, Tenn.
“I got my (recently) picky 4 year old to eat more veggies by running mealtime crunching contests to see who can chop the cucumbers, carrots, peppers, etc. the loudest. The intake of vegetables has increased! “- Jessica Squazzo, Elgin, Ill.
“My 18 month old and 3 year old discovered that they love quarantine dance parties. The three of us tell Alexa to play our favorite music and we sing loudly and dance – while I also get some cleaning done! Sometimes we even do FaceTime Grammy, and that’s at least 10 minutes of uninterrupted work for mom. – Stacey Gawde, Austin, Texas
“My 4- and 6-year-olds now almost routinely need the extra 0.25 seconds to remove their underwear from their pants before dropping them into the laundry chute. Big win. “- Sara Kerr, Portland, Ore.
“Our 4 year old decided to train her 2 year old brother. She lets him sit on the potty and reads books to him. – Melissa Merritt, Altadena, California.
“We convinced our 5½ year old that she should write them down instead, instead of calling us back to her room 800 times to answer all of life’s deep questions – which conveniently always come up before bed. We leave paper and a marker in her bed and she writes down questions until she falls asleep. Then we go through the questions over breakfast when I’m full of caffeine. “- Jennifer Lewis, Seattle
“My 5 year old had nightmares and woke me up every night so I hugged and kissed her pillow and told her I had filled it with ‘Mama Love’. It worked, but I have to recharge it with more hugs and kisses every day. – Leah Nelson, Montgomery, Ala.