Hooray, Hooray it’s Backwards Day!

Noodle is a big fan of the PBS Kids show “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.” If you are not Supermom and you let your preschool-age kids watch too much TV, like I do, I highly suggest you check it out. It’s a spin-off of the legendary “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” and is full of fun, heartwarming life lessons.

One of Noodle’s favorite episodes is about Backwards Day. The characters on the show wear their clothes backwards, put on a backwards show, and generally turn things around. For my four-year-old, this is endlessly amusing. So when I came upon this post on The Runcible Spoon blog, I knew I had struck gold.

Noodle counted down the bedtimes to Backwards Day eagerly. Mom chose a nondescript outfit for her to wear backwards without being too conspicuous (I’m so boring). We said “goodnight” to her when she woke up, ate bacon pizza bagels for breakfast, and engaged in all sorts of backwards fun.

The thing about this day was that it reminded me just how little effort it takes to give a preschooler the time of her life. I’ll admit, telling my child that she must finish her dessert before she can have lunch is not something I’d be willing to do every day… But in general, the tiniest routine upsets are huge fun bombs for her. She told her grandfather the night before backwards day that she was “really excited to go to Costco tomorrow, because we are going to eat lunch before we shop!” Wow, Bumpa. Can you believe it?

Enjoying a churro before lunch

Enjoying part of a churro before lunch

We finished the day with some homemade cinnamon rolls for dinner and I sang her bedtime songs in reverse order. It took very little pre-planning and no sacrificing to make her day so special. She is still talking about it and asking when we can do it again; and I am itching to find new ways to make her feel special.

What little treats bring your little one joy? “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matt 7:11 (ESV)

It’s Halloween, Matey!

I never really cared much for Halloween as a kid. I don’t know why – I think it had to do with some combination of being painfully shy and just not liking the cold. That, and I’m a big wuss. I am the person who could die of fear at your neighborhood haunted house – like, literally, I could have a heart attack there. I do not like to be scared.

So you’d think that growing up to be an Evangelical Christian homeschool mom would give me a great excuse to abstain from the fall festivities. Not so! I’m sorry if Halloween offends you, but it is really hard for me to pass up any activity that makes my girls smile.

Noodle and Squirt - not smiling. I promise they were having fun.

Noodle and Squirt – not smiling. I promise they were having fun.

(Let me just insert here that my mom made that absolutely AWESOME parrot costume. Thanks Grandma!)

Noodle, as I’ve mentioned before, watches too much TV. I accept all responsibility for this and I assure you that we’re working on it. But in the meantime, she loves “Jake and the Neverland Pirates” and has declared for years that she wants to be a pirate when she grows up. She was pretty excited when I ordered her Izzy costume, but fairly disappointed when there wasn’t any “real” magic pixie dust in the bag around her neck.

This, while funny, brings me to my point. That was the perfect opportunity for us to discuss magic, what it really is, what is real and what is not, and what the Bible says about it. I know many Christian families choose to completely forgo Halloween because of the demonic influences surrounding the holiday, and I totally get that. But I personally feel comfortable letting my kids dress up (in non-scary, mom-approved costumes) as long as we can have a good long talk about what is true and good and lovely and what is not. Because my kids don’t live in a bubble, and pretending that these things aren’t out there isn’t going to make them go away – but it could cripple my kids if I don’t teach them how to handle them.

Anyway, I’m not trying to start a fight here. If your family doesn’t celebrate Halloween, I’m glad you are following your conscience. If you do celebrate it, I hope you have a blast! Just don’t come to my door dressed as anything scary.