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Science Kids on the Loose

Science Kids on the Loose

My New Pink Kicks

I really shouldn’t be too surprised anymore when the Sid the Science Sid weekly topic parallels my life as a mom. I think we can all relate to teaching our children about the functions of our lungs, heart, bones, and stomach. As parents, we see those body parts as the heart, breath, limbs, and health of our children. And I mean that literally and metaphorically. I want Henry and Leo to understand how precious their organs and body systems are. I want them to make the connections between exercise and nutrition to their hearts, lungs, bones, and bodies. We’ve begun learning by watching Sid the Science Kid and completing all of the investigations in this cycle. As always, the activities are fun and informative.
But it’s not enough. I believe that it is my job as a parent to model the behaviors I want Henry and Leo to carry through life. Believe me, I am a work in progress. But I have made some recent changes that I hope will be positive. And they happen to fall in line with this week’s topics about the body…just in time for Mother’s Day!
I bought a new pair of sneakers. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but I had Henry with me. We went on a “date” to buy him new sneakers. Henry blows through sneakers faster than his feet grow, but I don’t mind. He is in constant motion. Leo is the runner in the family, with dreams of taking off on his own someday to “have a run around the neighborhood.” I haven’t bought a new pair of sneakers in six years. And one of my favorite phrases has always been “I only run when I am being chased.” But when Henry and I were at the New Balance outlet (love these shoes for kids) I decided to do some positive modeling and get myself a pair of sneakers. Pink ones.
The next day I found myself at the park with the boys in my new pink kicks. And I wanted to run. I ran all around with the boys until I thought my lungs would burst. Henry and Leo laughed and laughed. That night when we talked about the day, my boys were grateful for ME and for playing at the park. Totally worth the price of a pair of sneakers.
So, now I have a new pair of sneakers and lungs that are out of shape. In search of help I called a friend who is an EMT and a firefighter. Basically, I called a friend who is in shape. She asked me to think of one form of exercise from my life that I enjoyed. No matter what age. That was easy…I like to swim. I used to swim at the community pool on a team from ages 10 to 14. I swam a lot and I loved it. With that revelation, I got a membership at the gym with a big pool. Just like that.
I have been swimming 3 times. It is quiet and cool and totally alone. Afterwards my muscles ache. My muscles ache in a way that they haven’t in many many years. It is a familiar pain that doesn’t bother me. I want to feel stronger and I want to make my muscles work. The payoff comes with the boys. Henry and Leo are impressed by the gym and the Olympic sized pool. They like my new goggles and ask when I am going again. I am modeling for them and it feels good.
I am in my 40s and I need to think about my bones. The boys are both having “growing pains” that keep them up at night in tears. I feel awful for them but I am also in awe of the way the human body is constructed. They are literally growing right before my eyes. Yesterday Leo asked me “Mommy, how tall will you be when you are finished growing?” The question took me aback with its simplicity. I explained that my bones were done growing but that someday he would be taller than me. Leo was astounded. Then, I explained that even though my bones weren’t growing, I needed to care for my bones and my joints by eating the right kinds of foods and exercising. I also told Leo that we never ever stop growing in our hearts, even if our bones don’t get longer. My wise boy seemed to get that.
I have written a lot about nutrition on this blog but I haven’t shared our latest challenge as a family. I believe, based on observation, charting, and dietary tracking, that Henry is highly sensitive to processed sugar. Sugar deeply affects Henry’s mood, ability to focus, and impulse control. So, I am committed to eliminating as much sugar as I can from his diet. Or should I say OUR FAMILY’S diet. It can only benefit us all if we work together to help Henry and model the behavior we want him to learn. Some of us really like sweets (DAD) and chocolate (MOM). It is a sacrifice to give a lot of it up. But Henry understands how the body uses the foods we put into our digestive system. I have a concrete way to explain our lifestyle change via Sid and he seems to be okay with it … for now. But as a mom, I have never felt more sure about something I can do to help my child be successful.
The least I can do in honor of Mother’s Day is to take better care of my children’s only mom: ME. I am blessed with two amazing boys and every day they model for me the kind of person I want to be when I grow up.
Happy Mother’s Day!

Produced by: Funding is provided by:
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