Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sticker Bananas!

Oh, what a day it was! It began with a 5 am wake up by an unhappy, teething toddler, and quickly progressed into one of those disastrous days in which everything that can go wrong does. By 10 am I was kneeling beside a toy-plugged toilet, frantically reaching for the shut off valve and trying to calm a perplexed toddler as toilet water literally gushed across my back. And by noon, I had witnessed one of the most terrifying sights I have ever seen – my sweet little 21 month old tumbling end over end down the stairs. She was unhurt, and clearly far less upset by it than I was. She wanted a snack. I just couldn’t stop shaking.
That was the kind of day it had been when I opened our snack cupboard and discovered I had none of my “stand-by” snacks on hand – nothing that I could easily convince an overtired, teething, and understandably cranky toddler to eat. But sometimes those crazy mommy moments lead to the very best discoveries!
Like many toddlers, my little one can be picky and often eats like a bird. The only foods she’ll always eat are prepackaged treats that I try to avoid. There is a reason that companies spend the money they do on developing the colourful, cartoon character adorned packaging used in snack foods. And the reason is because it works. There is an abundance of research out there that illustrates the power of marketing techniques on little minds. So why not use that knowledge to our advantage, and do a little “mommy marketing” of our own?
It’s an idea that I recommended often to the families I once worked with, but neglected to try myself until necessity became the mother of invention. It took a disastrous morning last week for me to discover the power…of sticker bananas! Rummaging through the sticker drawer, I adorned an ordinary banana with a few cartoon character stickers. Never before a fan of bananas, my daughter gobbled down almost the entire thing! And every day since, she has not only been eating bananas, but actually requesting them like she would a prepackaged treat. Such a simple idea. But HUGE in our little world.
Sometimes it truly is the simplest ideas that add the most to our days. My hope is to share many of those simple ideas with you over the coming weeks and months. Little things that make life simpler for you, benefit your little one, and add a little joy and sparkle to your day. Because it’s those little moments of joyful mommyhood that matter the most – to you, and to the little ones you love.

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