See that happy, lighthearted girl? She's got nothing on her dear mother who has been using the last three days to lie on the couch and silently cheer. Listen--a silent house! Look--six uninterrupted work hours in the studio! Imagine--no competition for the last remaining bag of chocolate chips!
To say I have been enjoying the bliss of work life without my kids at home is to put it mildly. The only thing that would be better is if I actually had a television with TIVO so I could watch the convention at my own speed--which would involve occasional naps and lots of ice cream.
Still, I'm enjoying picking my kids up everyday and hearing how the new school year is unfolding. Here are three scandalous questions that are sure to get your little Walter Cronkite chatting away in no time:
Who got in trouble today? It sounds wrong, I know, but trust me, there is no better way to unlock the flood gates than to ask this one very simple question. What's so helpful about opening up this conversation is your kids get a chance to reveal their thoughts on adult authority, fairness and strategies for better behavior. With their candid insight about other kids' in-big-trouble woes, you'll get the inside scoop on how it feels to cross the lines and what your kids think adults should do about it.
What did they serve for lunch today? Whether your kids bring lunch from home or order at the cafeteria, your children will be happy to dish on the latest disaster or diner's delight from the school lunch menu. Lunchtime conversation is always a colorful insider look at life in the kid lane. And let's face it--wasn't lunch one of your daily highlights when you were in fourth grade?
What happened on the bus today? By far, there's no drama like the drama that occurs on the big yellow school bus. With a little luck, this will be just the in you need to discuss kid power, peer pressure and everything else that impacts your kids the most. Find out who's who in the politics of kid world and how your kids perceive their own place in the inevitable pecking order. You'll be surprised at how many strong feelings the bus can bring up and how your listening ear can ease the journey.
What questions do you like to ask when you see your kids at the close of a busy day? Feel free to add your own tips to unlock their inner chatty-cathy in the comments below.