No, Caron, I’m not drinking. Yet.
Mealtime with young children. Any of you mamas groaning yet? It can get tedious, boring, and some days, it feel like that’s I’ll I’ve done – feed people. “Sit up. Lean over your plate. Stop talking and eat. Don’t fling your food. Drink your milk. Can you eat a few more bites of veggies, please? How many napkins do you really need?” By the time the lunch dishes are cleared, I’m grumpy and counting the minutes ’til naptime. I don’t look forward to mealtime most days, and that’s a shame.
This week, the attention-deficient part of me decided to try and spice it up a bit. I had a revelation: RADIO. Not talk radio, that just gets me anxious, and I’m anxious enough. What about old-timey radio programs? I found a couple of podcasts (which I never can find the time to listen to or remember to download to my iPod in advance) that have really made mealtime pleasant and give me something to talk about with my kiddos while we plod through our peas. The minis are more focused, they actually finish most of their meals, and we’re all in better moods afterward, with plenty of fodder for the afternoon’s creative play.
Here are the two we’re enjoying right now: First, The News From Lake Wobegon podcast from A Prairie Home Companion. It’s Garrison Keillor’s (love!) weekly monologue – need I say more? The other I happened upon by accident while looking for something else, and I’ve been so pleased by every one I’ve heard. It’s The Story Home – a collection of classic fairy tales and well-loved stories (with a few originals by Alan Scofield) simply narrated without sound effects or music. I love these because the kids are enthralled, the narration is excellent and the stories are ones I would (or have) read my own kids. Reese begs to listen to this one. (Full-disclosure: listening to these with the kids is especially gratifying to me. As an elementary-school student, my favorite part of the school day was after lunch when my teachers would read a chapter of fiction aloud to the class.) Better than any PBS show, I guarantee you – and none of the “is Junior watching too much T.V.?” guilt.
I subscribe to both free via iTunes, and just loaded a few on the ol’ iPod for trips in the car. It’s like crack for my kids & me and provides a few calming moments of guilt-free entertainment – which, for any mama, can some days be the balm in Gilead.
What are your favorite podcasts?