Magical Childhood Newsletter
Volume 41
June 1, 2002

Hi folks!  Hope you had a great week.  We just got back from kid's day at the garden center and Victoria and I have a date for some girl time.  Here's some stuff I've put together for you, though........

Magical Mama Nancy shared this delightful memory with me recently.  When she was little, her uncle would stick the kids' feet in mud and then hold them upside down and walk them across the ceiling to leave muddy footprints on the ceiling.  Tee hee!  Apparently the aunt was less than charmed but it tickled me greatly!


20 Ways to Calm a Fussy Baby....

Look in the mirror together and make faces  Nurse her or give her something else to suckle on (suckling releases feel good chemicals in babies and toddlers) Take a bath together  Try swinging  Go for a walk outside & change the scenery  Hold baby facing out, under the arms or around the tummy and swing and bounce (he can see the world, move, and the pressure may relieve gas pains) Try teething tablets or other homeopathic remedies  Use white noise like vacuums, showers or tapes of the ocean  Switch off (sometimes babies just want a different face for a while)  Give her a stack of cups and show her how to take them all out and stack them, bang them and nest them  Distract her with keys, bells, squeaky toys and other noise makers  Entertain her with finger plays, silly songs, peek-a-boo or other silliness Give him an icy washcloth to chew on in case he's teething  Go for a car ride  Put on headphones and dance with her (the headphones help your nerves!)  Try a scented massage with a soothing scent like lavender (massage the tummy especially, in case baby is gassy)  Turn down the stress level-- reduce the lights, the noise and the stimulation Be totally silly  Videotape or record him and play it back  If all else fails, give the baby to someone else who's loving, calm yourself, and give yourself a break -- babies pick up on our stress level, so you have to keep yourself happy too!


Here's a darling little teacup pincushion to make up with the kiddies.
What a sweet gift for a grandma or special teacher.


It's Not About Us......

When my first daughter was about one, I went through some soul searching as a mom.  I grew up hearing all the time how my mother had a perfect child because she treated me so well when I was little.  People constantly called me a little angel.  I didn't touch things as a toddler if you told me they were fragile.  She never used the word "no" with me and I never used it either.  I was quiet and eager to please.

When I had Victoria I thought if I treated her with enough love and respect and just acted good enough, she'd be "good" too.  My kid just didn't have the same personality as I did.  Victoria is active.  She's smart and sweet and great, so it's not a bad thing at all, but she's never going to be some quiet child with her hands behind her back waiting patiently.  It's just not her.

I kept trying to be a better mom instead of realizing I had succeeded with her-- she was happy and considerate.  There are no guarantees on quiet or calm.  ;)

This realization led to a lot of acceptance on my part-- not just of myself but of other parents.  It also led to a new article on the Magical Childhood site ("It's not about us").  There are some other new crafts and articles up too, with more on the way.

But you'll have to visit Monday, because I see Daryl hasn't gotten them up yet.  I'll cuddle with the webmaster and get working on that.

I hope to get the site active enough that you can check back weekly to see what's new.  Stay tuned!


This site has free charts, lesson planners, drill sheets, grids, fake money, dot-to-dots, handwriting practice sheets and oodles more....


Here's a neat idea for Father's Day, a parent's birthday, or just a whimsical keepsake.  Make a plaster hand print or just stamp the child's hand on paper with paint & enclose this poem...

My Hands

Sometimes you get discouraged
    Because I am so small
And always leave my fingerprints
    On furniture and walls

But every day I'm growing
    I'll be grown up some day
And all those tiny hand prints
    Will surely fade away

So here's a final hand print
    Just so you can recall
Exactly how my fingers looked
    When I was very small



Magical Mama Terrie shared these ideas on public parenting:

Dear Alicia, I wanted to thank you for this issue of Magical Childhood!

I for one have always been very open with my silliness and entertainment of Oliver during shopping, partly because I could only attend to shopping and keeping a very active, busy boy happy in a store and never a moment to look or think what others thought!  Here are some things I have done since he was an infant till now.  Even as an infant it was hard to shop as he was very colicky and sensitive to stimuli, lights etc. and would cry a lot, loud, and needed to nurse OFTEN.

As an infant: learned immediately how to nurse in a rebozo or sling carrier or would have had to leave the store or my cart to find a place to sit at least 2-3 times during the shopping.  Often this would help him to sleep and I could continue shopping.  I also sang a few particular lullabies and hummed to him special songs I used during infant massage to get his attention and help him calm.

As an older baby:  I tied various "toys" on to strings and wore them around my neck for him to fiddle with while in the store, (he rode in my sling until he was two, only then could I entertain him from the cart seat buckled in!) as well as always included him in my shopping thoughts ("hmm Oliver, do you remember if I needed apples?  Is this a nice smelling orange, look at the colors of these blue potatoes....")

As a pretoddler/toddler: besides various little snacks to munch on, I kept a supply of board books I could read to him as I shopped, and eventually he began to look at them himself and "chat" about the stories.  I always continued all the other things too, I would do from when he was a baby if all else failed.  I tried to let him "help" with the scooping of bulk foods etc., picking out vegetables etc. (still in the sling at times sometimes in the cart seat)

As a toddler/ to present (getting close to 4 years old)  we continued with books which if they were familiar to him he would read to me some times, he always chose a few toys (usually cars) put in his little fanny pack and drives them around the cart, or now that he's older and walking with me is a possibility without deshelving the whole store, he drives on the shelves. We play many silly games like Alicia describes, plus he likes to help count out everything we take off the shelves.  I include him in my thoughts still ("hmm Oliver, is this a good smelling cantaloupe?  Is it ripe?)  Can you find the potatoes and put three in this bag? (he delights in important jobs) What letter does potato begin  with, lets sing a silly potato  song, etc.

When I have time I make up a grocery bingo game with pictures (drawn or cut out, and photocopy a few) so he can identify things in the store and put little stickers over the item till the card is filled up.

Finally I always talk about how happy I am to have him help me with my chores and how fun he makes it (even thought it really is a lot more work I do feel this way).

As you can you see shopping  has been one thing we have worked very hard to make do-able for both of us.

Thanks Terrie!


Children need models more than they need critics.
--Joseph Joubert


Magical Mama Shannon recommended this web site on the Magical Childhood e-list...

She writes:  It's about the importance of a magical childhood.  I know, I know, preaching to the choir, but it's nice to hear some encouragement.


A baby
will make
love stronger,
days shorter,
nights longer,
bankroll smaller,
home happier,
clothes shabbier,
the past forgotten,
and the future worth living for.



Changing the Workplace

When I had Victoria, I was lucky.  Even though I worked full time, I had a husband who could watch her while I was at work and a flexible work situation that allowed me to often bring both of them to work with me.  He would watch the baby in the back room and do volunteer work & I could visit, take breaks to nurse, and know exactly what she was up to.

Victoria spent her first year accompanying me to board & staff meetings, playing with co-workers' keys and crawling under conference tables.  I brought her with me to give speeches, put up posters and work with other staff.  I can't tell you how neat it was that her picture was the screen saver at our state's Domestic Violence coalition.  People who worked with me watched her grow up and acted like family.

I know how lucky I was.  Many workplaces aren't set up to encourage employees to remember they're parents at all, much less bring them along.  We need to work on that!

I wasn't the only lucky one though.  My employers benefited because I was happier and loyal to the organization, and because my husband was often an unpaid extra hand in the office.  And frankly, it made them look good too.

Even though I'm a SAHM now, I'm committed to changing the work environment for those parents who are not.  Single parents are hit especially hard by some of the realities of work and day care. We need to be allies for each other and work to change what's acceptable and what's considered normal.  We need to have a world that's child-friendly for all of us.

Here's some ways that we can help.

Let's work on ending the segregation of our children from our lives, one job at a time.

In the next issue, I'll share job ideas for working at home and working with kids.  If you know of good careers, books or web sites, send them in!


10 Ways to Make Tonight Magical.......

1.  Pack the baby into the stroller and go for a midnight stroll

2.  Set up a tent in the back yard and sleep under the stars

3.  Go plant a packet of seeds in the moonlight -- folklore said it was good luck!

4.  Have a slumber party in the living room or guest room

5.  Put baby videos in the VCR at bedtime and fall asleep cuddling and watching them

6.  String Christmas lights in their bedrooms

7.  Get glow in the dark paint and help the kids write secret messages & pictures on the ceiling

8.  Start reading a few chapters a night from your favorite childhood book at bedtime

9.   Dance with them (and your sweetie) on the lawn after dark

10. Go on a late-night trip to the donut shop


And now my dears, I'm off to read Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash with a little girl, make some goodies, and go for a rainy day walk.

This week your assignment is to eat chocolate, do an anonymous nice thing for somebody, and take at least a minute every day to make the day memorable.

Or just have fun.  :)




A Magical Childhood
Copyright 2002, Alicia Bayer

A Magical Childhood Newsletter is just something I throw together because I love children and those who love them.  To subscribe, send a message to  We do not use ads.  It's not about money.  :)

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