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Katy England Katy England
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Love/hate relationships

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When a kid doesn't like peas or Brussels sprouts, no one is particularly surprised - there are many adults who dislike those strange mini-cabbages. But being able to forecast what a child will like or dislike is a skill on par with the predictive powers of Nostradamus. You just never know.

For instance, when we had that recent streak of hot weather, I thought it would be the perfect time to share popsicles with the kiddos. Who doesn't love a nice, cool, delicious treat on a hot, sunny day? 

My kids.

I honestly don't know what one of my daughters hated more, the popsicle or me taking away the hated popsicle.

On my birthday, I made myself a little chocolate cake (out of a box, mind you). I thought I'd be benevolent and share the joy by giving them pieces of cake. You would have thought I'd dished up piles of dirt. One of my girls scowled at the cake, then threw it on the floor. That is not how I was raised to treat chocolate cake.

The only thing trickier than figuring out what they might hate is figuring out what they will love. My sister bought all of them Beanie Baby toys (machine washable, bless her). Each kid has a different one and they sleep with them. From the moment eyes were set upon these animals, it was love. When the kids go up for a nap or it's bedtime they make a bee-line for their stuffed toys, calling them by their garbled little names. They hug them, kiss them, suck on ears (machine washable!). And as for the heaps of other toys here and there, it makes no difference. They couldn't care less.

Fun can come in many forms. Most toy companies would have you believe it should be something that costs 50 bucks and can play a symphony of annoying tunes. But one of the items that has seen the most play in my house is washed out jumbo yogurt containers. The rate in which we go through yogurt is borderline astronomical, so one day I handed over a few of the containers to the kiddos and fun was had.

Now I almost have enough to make a tower that can reach the ceiling. I can never quite get there because the kids think it's great fun to start knocking the whole thing down as soon as I start to build it up. 

Looking at cars has also become a fun pastime. Cars are a source of joy for many kids. I'm sure there are parents who take their children to transportation museums or car shows. We walk down to the church parking lot and either look at the cars parked there or wait for cars to drive by. They love this on a level that barely makes sense to me. But hey, everything was new to me once. 

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