The Caronicles – II

Once there was a bean, and once there was a car, but the bean, didn’t go very far.

The car would prout prout, as fast as it could go, a little bit here, and a little bit there, but it would bring things, everywhere.

There was once a car, that ran on Maple Syrup, so, so far. It saw everything it could see, but didn’t notice the air.

There was things, there were a few, not many, but that did things, to me and you. Things that were cars, but that we didn’t want in our stars.

This little bean car, that is of the day, runs of a syrup, that we can eat, yay!

The little taxi, is something insects love, and who knows when it will grow up, what things it will stir up.

For now we have a bean sized car, that prout prouts around, and makes no sound.

It’s the things we don’t see you see that make us wonder what could be.

The Caronicles – I

Once Upon A Time,

there was a small car. It was so small, it could barely be recognized next to a bean, a small bean.

The car appeared out of a car tree, that would just produce cars, all day, and all night. Nikola Tesla would be proud.

The cars ran on Maple Syrup that is electrified through their small engines, that make their wheels turn.

Most cars come out in a reasonable size, able to be used, but this small car, it was made on a small day. It was the shortest day of the year, and during that day, the tree usually takes a day off, but it didn’t and it made a small bean sized maple car.

The car didn’t know much, it barely knew how to put one wheel in front of the other, but it managed to roll on, and drive through the forest.

The trees all had a purposed, and produced something, albeit Maple Syrup, or humans, or batteries, the trees had something come out of them by purpose, by design. With our little car driving by them, it was hard for it to move out of the way when something was produced, but it managed to drive around to not be pushed or crushed.

While driving around, and being so small, it would come across insects, and sometimes it would see some that were running late for work, and would allow them to come inside the backseat, and bring them to work.

The insects would always say “thank you,” and the little car would always say “you’re welcome.”

After a while, people would start referring to the little car as “taxi”, and the little car didn’t know why.

One day, it asked one of the backseat passenger insects what ‘taxi’ meant, and it was cordially explained.

A taxi brings people to a destination in exchange for a small fee, but this little car didn’t want to charge a fee, and it didn’t want to be given anything in exchange for it’s service, but the little car did want something, and that was stories. It wanted it’s little passengers to tell it small stories, in exchange for a small ride.

With that, started the free ride exchange, where all kinds of insects would seek out the small taxi, and would have their stories prepared for the ride!

Story To Read/Print – Pillowcase pt 1

Once Upon A Time – Pillow Case

Click on the link above to download/open the .pdf of the story of the pillowcase. I would recommend printing this story, and then making drawings, and customizing the story with your little one, on the front, in the back, all over the place!

You can even get the ball rolling by drawing out a small pillowcase!

Have Fun!!

The Pillowcase

Once Upon A Time,

there was a small pillowcase. This pillowcase, being a tad on the yellow side, from it’s original pristine white, had lumps here, and a few lumps there.

The lumps formed a small chest, small little lumps of feet, and a odd shaped bump of a head. Each extremity had darker spots than all the rest, probably from walking, or touching so much. The pillowcase had a clean head, which didn’t go with the rest of its body. A little odd if you ask me.

The pillow, that was a case, harbored a few lumps of this, and a few lumps of that, but nothing like a real pillow. Nothing that it was bound to.

Sometimes, and this was quite rare, sometimes this pillowcase was empty. When it was, if there was wind, it would go with the wind, and had no way of coming back.

When the pillowcase would land somewhere, usually caught by a branch or a bush, slowly, it would catch debris, and fill its body. One piece at a time, it would become whole. It could be a branch, a piece of dirt, slowly feet would form, hands, in lumpy form.

Once filled, it would stand, and be whole again.

It was a cloudy day, the day it filled itself.

The biggest enemy of its life is rain. When it would rain, the cloth would become heavy, it would put an enormous weight on its limbs, and would eventually not be able to move.

It would lie on the ground, wherever it was, and wait on the sun. It’s sad, because often things would run over him. Small things at first, like a bug, an ant, but if it was even in the street, or on a sidewalk, much larger, and heavier things would stomp, step, ride over the cloth.

This tragedy, repeated, was something that was a regular occurrence. It happened quite often.

Today though, is not every other day.

With his body full, and able to move. The clouds up above, the pillowcase looked for cover. Anything, to weather out the rain. A roof, a tree, something.

The lump up top looked right, looked left, and saw a majestic tree in the distance. Big leaves, large trunk, with what seemed to be a hole in the center, a perfect hiding space.

The clouds moved in fast, a little too fast for the Egyptians cottons comfort. He ran, well, actually, wobbled, its way there. With the rapid movements, the pillowcase lost a bit of debris, that would fall to the ground. Bits and pieces of itself lost, forever, in the search for survival, but for the moment comfort.

It wasn’t  in survival mode just as of yet.

Grass under the cotton, it was a bit moist. Weighing down its movements. It tried to skimper up as much as possible, but only succeeded to thin out a bit. It still had a bit too much cotton exposed to avoid water being soaked up.

The tree came more and more into focus, but so did the clouds.

The tree looked more and more comforting, and more and more like a savior. The pillowcase would be saved by the dryness, and the security of this green, very leafy tree. Branches reached out in all directions, as if the tree was trying to stretch out its limbs as far as it could. The top of the tree had a few branches sticking upright, but mostly they fanned out to the sides, like arms with leaves instead of hair. In the middle of the tree, like a bellybutton outstretched, was a massive hole, that was thin at the top, and wide at the bottom. A perfect perch.

Underneath the tree there was no grass, just dry dirt, and it made a perfect circle under the tree. To the pillow, the dirt was clouds from the heavens.

A drop from the skies hit the head of the pillowcase. It was nervous now. It picked up its pace. Faster, it ran. Faster, it needed to be dry. Faster and faster and faster.

Reaching the dirt under the tree, it was like reaching the clouds of the gods. The first step sent a cloud of dry dirt into the air, like a warm welcoming hug from the ground. The second step sent up even more happiness. It was heaven. A dry place, a comfort like no other.

It fell to the ground, not because it tripped, or because of an accident, but more like a hug. With both arms extended while falling, it fell into the ground with a smile. Happy, it picked up some of the dirt, and filled itself slightly with it. It is now a part of this tree. It’s now becoming more like a home, than just a place.

This place, welcomed it, and gave itself to the pillowcase without even a struggle.

It was home, this tree, now, is home.

Being A Parent Is Hard!

Being a parent is hard work!

As parents, when we see another one of us walking freely across the street, or with our little bundles of joy, or our grown up packs of happiness, we know the struggles that we had to face to be able to get up this morning, and what we faced in the past.

It’s not easy, the sleepless nights, the early mornings, the ‘late’ nights (since when has 8 been late?

We all know how it is, and we all know how hard it is to be able to even put one foot in front of the other (that’s why coffee was invented, or any guilty pleasure we indulge in as soon as we drop off the kids.)

It’s hard, we know.

Imagine how hard it must be for our children, that time of life that we barely can even grasp the notion of existing in. I barely remember what it was like to use my child eyes.

Sure, I have memories of what happened, my mother was a giant to me (she’s barely able to pass the four foot something mark, or even reach the tape to measure people on the door frames in convenience stores!) Those memories are processed with the mind I have now.

But imagine then? When I saw a color it was literally the first time I remember, or even actually would see that color! WOW THAT BLUE IS LIKE THE BEST BLUE EVER! Right? That innocent mind, that is filled with wonder and amazement, can easily be filled with fear.

How scared are you now of a dark room, still, with your understanding of the law, of physics, of mathematics, or even the laws of gravity (No killer can mystically appear once the lights are off, but we all think it, TODAY IS THE DAY HE’S BEHIND THE DOOR!) Imagine that feeling of darkness the entire time that you’re a child. It’s a feeling we’ve all forgotten, because we know better.

When we were children, everything was new, and the unknown was a darkness, and the only light that existed was our parents.

We are the bringers of light to our children’s mind.

Make Mornings Special!

Mornings are a great start to the day!

Give your little one something to look forward to towards the end of the day.

It could be a drawing, it could be food, it could be anything, but it has to be something!

Something has to give to be able to able to give your little one patience, and foresight to be able to look forward to something towards the end of the day. This will practice their patience, and give their day a good boost!

I personally like to start a few drawings after my little one goes to bed, and then have a fall back plan! It’s difficult to be able to follow through on every word that we say, but it’s much easier when the work is already cut out for us!

So I make a few drawings, then invite my daughter to join me in those drawings later that night, so then I would be able to keep my promise, as I already made the drawing, and she can just enjoy the drawing, or pick up right where I started!

I like to draw on large paper, so as to give as many possibilities as possible to my little one.

I draw something small, in the very center of the page, either a character, a house, a face, a fence, an animal, something, and sometimes I leave it unfinished, so my daughter can complete it, or modify it the way she sees fit.

I personally love adding drawings to our mix of activities, because it gives me an insight on what she is thinking, and drawing gives a clear evolution of hand eye coordination, with intent. Her intentions and emotions are clear as she is completing the drawing, either by taking her time, drawing fast, hitting the page with the pencils, or being distracted by searching for pencils always and having something on her mind.

Great conversations come from her focusing on the drawing, and me simply being present. It allows for a fluid and natural conversation to occur.

Enjoy your drawing time, as I do!

Sincerity is key.

Being sincere is a great tool.

I find that being sincere with my daughter has helped us create a greater bond over the years. This bond is something that is deeply embedded in us, regardless of me being her father. It’s like a second thread that is parallel to me being her parent.

It’s hard to even imagine a me with her without that bond.

When I enter a field, while she is playing a sport, she gives me those eyes that say everything about how she feels at that moment:

the small squinty eyes, that there’s mischief afoot

the small round eyes that means there’s something wrong that happened

the surprised eyes that she just did something wrong and kinda wants me to know

the eye roll that means, whatever, you’re here, and I love you

the casual eyes that simply say You’re here, but I’m accomplishing something here daddy, watch and learn!

All these eyes, I find come out of a mutual respect that we have for one another, through an understanding of how we handle situations in a crisis. Which brings me to a technique that I have been using sparingly over the years, as over using it, might make it lose some of its meaning.

During some extreme emotional build ups, there is often very little to do to be able to bring a child’s mind down to reality. What I found to be a very intimate way to connect with my daughter and bring her back down to me, is this:

Gently press, palm out, fingers extended, on her belly

I take a deep, obvious breath first, then another while locking in on her eyes

Then I ask her to take a deep breath, then once obliged, I explain the technique to her to breathe from as deep in her belly as she can, expand her belly if possible as well, all the while me mimicking and doing what I am asking

Once tensions are relieved, I give her a hug, and tell her that if she wants to talk about it, we can, and if not, we can talk about it some other time

There is no real trick for this to work, as each situation is different, some might require a stronger tone, some a softer tone, and even sometimes I would recommend trying this before something bad happens, and even after, in between, etc. I find it adds more sincerity to it when it’s not done exclusively when something bad happens.

This creates a strong bond between her and I, and I hope that it helps assemble her ideas and thoughts during a crisis, not only with me, but with others. I feel that these small actions bring us closer together, and make our actions speak volumes.