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January 20, 2020

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Who was Miss Muffet anyway?

Why we read nursery rhymes to our children

By Liz Gordon-Hancock
Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker's man. Bake me a cake as fast as you can...
Humpty dumpty sat on a wall; Humpty dumpty had a great fall...

I'm reading these Mother Goose rhymes to my two-year-old, as part of his bed-time stories.

Have you ever stopped to think about these nursery rhymes and what these stories or words mean?

So many of these rhymes just don't make sense: Hey diddle, diddle, the cat and the fiddle. The cow jumped over the what?

Others are a little sinister, like the one about Peter, the pumpkin eater, and whatever he did with his wife.

My season of motherhood

Diapers, sleep deprivation and dancing chickens

By Liz Gordon-Hancock
To everything, there is a season. And I'm not talking about the fall, winter, spring, summer... or even the Christmas season, but the seasons that come with motherhood. These seasons are typified by little things, like diapers or high chairs, soccer balls or pom poms.  

If you have a teenager, you may be in the season of door-slamming and hormones. If you have a growing boy, you may be in the season of monthly shoe-shopping, as you try to keep up with your son's ever-growing feet.

For me personally, I'm in the season of diapers, sleep deprivation and a dancing chicken toy.

When to lie to your children

A mother's musings

By Liz Gordon-Hancock
When is it appropriate to lie to your children?

The reason I'm even asking myself that question is because my father-in-law has severe dementia/Alzheimer's and there are scenarios where lying to him is actually the best thing to do for him, in that moment.

When my father-in-law first went into the nursing home, he was perpetually panicky about the cost of his care and would demand my husband tell him how much was in his bank account. In this case, lying to him was the best thing to do.

So, when is it appropriate to lie to your children?

Teaching idioms to first graders?

My kids bring a lot of papers home from school.

Amongst these papers was a sheet of practical activities to do at home to encourage literacy, logic, character-building and math skills. Under the language section, it suggested counting how many idioms my first grader could think of, as a sort of game.

You're pulling my leg, right?

First off, I think today's first graders are learning far more than I was taught at that grade level. For example, my first grader was learning to spell advanced words such as special, barbecue, and rhythm. She just turned seven. So - today's first graders have the potential to know far more than I did at that age.

Don't mess with my routine

A mother's musings

I am a creature of routine. I cannot tell if I have always been this way or if I were driven to it by having children.

I find my children thrive in routine - regular meal times, set bedtimes, a structured pattern to the rest and play of their day.  My own children are so driven by routine that even on vacation, far from home, my daughter will ask "Where will we have quiet time after lunch today, Mommy?"

If my two-year-old doesn't nap, my eye starts twitching. And if we don't go to the library on Tuesdays, then the whole day is off-kilter.  

I don't deal well with changes in my structured routine.

Mommy, are you going to jail?

A mother's musings

By Liz Gordon-Hancock
"Mommy, are you going to jail?"

This is what my daughter asked me, as I was being pulled over by the police for speeding. All three of my children were in the car at the time, and I had been speeding in town because I was late to a lunch date with some friends.

"No, mommy's not going to jail. Mommy is getting a speeding ticket," I explained to my worried 7 and 6 year-old daughters. "That means I have to pay a fine."

Oh the shame of sitting there, waiting to be handed my speeding ticket, under the watchful eyes of my children, who've never seen mommy get in trouble before.