January 30, 2010

Dancing In the Kitchen

I am joining Pam at You're Gonna Miss This... in her weekly blog carnival where we reflect and record the daily joys of parenting that we will miss when they grow up.

My children love to dance. They turn on music, any music, usually too loud and all start jumping around.

Oh, but they didn't start out this way. I taught it to them.

Back in 2002 Allen took a new job that required a great deal of travel, and often means getting home late. That was about the time my ovaries kicked into full swing. We had two year old Emma, newborn Nathaniel and added Aedan the next year and Samuel not long after that. I loved those days with all my preschoolers but I would be lying if I didn't say the days were often tiring, especially trying to keep up home school with the older two girls, being pregnant, nursing a baby and all the other responsibilities that go along with being a wife and mama. And doing it on very little sleep. And usually going it solo.

I could hold it together pretty well most of the time. But come dinner it always seemed like everything fell apart. All of a sudden everyone seemed to have a melt down at the same time, and I was often right in there with them. When weather allowed, I would take the kids outside and we would just run and jump and swing and do whatever we had to in order to work it out.

But in the winters, it gets dark early, and often it is rainy or too cold to take babies outside. At a complete loss one day, I put in a CD of kids music that my mom had brought over, and turned it on loud enough to drown out the noise and hopefully gets the kids attention long enough for them to calm down.
Before I knew what was happening, the hokey-poky started playing and everyone was dancing merrily around the kitchen. Putting their left in and shaking their right all about. Everyone jumped and squirmed and giggled until they were worn out and dinner was ready to go on the table. It worked so well, that it became our regular ritual, when Pa wasn't home by dinner time.

The children enjoyed it so much, that when I didn't put music on, they would ask me, "Can we dance?" When Samuel was able to stand up, he joined in the fun, too. A few years later, Elisabeth came along and soon enough learned how to take part.

Now, if someone is in the kitchen and the music isn't playing, Elisabeth will beg, "Ipod, please???" It doesn't matter what music is playing. She will sing and shout and spin and twirl until she collapses.
Even though it started out as a mere survival strategy, one day I am going to miss seven laughing munchkins dancing around the kitchen while I cook dinner.


  1. I enjoyed hearing about how you use music in your home. It sounds like you have so much fun. Thanks for sharing the cute pictures of Elisabeth to accompany your post. When Jessica was little we used music lots and even now she uses her i-pod everyday and enjoys playing her keyboard and flute. I am sure it's because she enjoyed music from an early age.
    I enjoyed seeing the cute picture of you and the adorable picture of your two older daughters in their matching dresses and glasses. I love looking at old pictures.
    Hope you are having a good weekend.

  2. Kat,
    What a sweet, sweet memory that you definitely will miss. Music is wonderful and just makes you happy and Elizabeth is just precious is those photos.

    Love ya dear friend,

    Thanks for coming by and encouraging me this week. It sure helps to have friends that lift you up when you're down.

  3. What fun!! Isn't is amazing what begins as mere survival becomes such a joy!! Good for you!

  4. Awww, those are such special moments!! I hope you can capture them on video sometime!

  5. We dance at our house, too, but not enough! What a great idea to do it every day! Usually while I'm making dinner, I let Flowergirl watch a movie (or help me with dinner if she can) but I would rather have her doing something productive. Did you dance with them every day, or was it just them dancing together?

  6. What sweet memories! We love to dance here too!

  7. It's funny you mention the hokey pokey because this has become one of Gabriel's favorites. Obviously I have to do most of the work, but you should see him giggle as we do the hokey pokey ... cause that's what it's all about. Thank heaven he doesn't mind that his Mama doesn't carry much of a tune.

  8. Cute photos! At first, when you wrote... "...love to dance. ...I taught it to them" and then I saw you little one in her flexible "dance" move, I had to laugh, thinking that was not a dance move I had ever seen before.

    ...but then realized, OH, it must have been the hokey pokey song...when I continued reading :o)

    Blessings & aloha!
    (It has been fun meeting you through your posts! I have to get back to some drawings, but I wanted to read "just one more"! haha