Sunday, September 1, 2013

Everyday Traditions--What are yours?

This morning I'm thinking about traditions.

Not the holiday ones, like cookies for Santa and Easter clothes for church (although those are always fun), but the traditions that make your day-to-day family life more meaningful.

When I was little, my mom and I always watched Dallas on Friday nights, cuddled up on the couch. (I wanted to be Mrs. Bobby Ewing, of course.) My dad made breakfast on Sunday, alternating between waffles and pancakes each week. One summer, my brother and I watched Charlton Heston's Ten Commandments every morning at 10:00AM with a bowl of popcorn and a glass of Crystal Light. (Needless to say we cleaned up at Bible Trivia at the Senior Citizen's Night we attended with our grandparents. We won two bars of soap and a jar of peanut butter.)

Now that we have Marshall, it's fun to watch the traditions he creates for himself. Here are some of our favorites:

Wake-Up Juice

preschool picnicThe very thing Marshall asks for when he wakes up is his juice (a lot of water and a splash of OJ), and Monkey has to accompany him to this party on the couch. Then he has "Marshall" cereal (Cheerios), as opposed to "Daddy" cereal (Raisin Bran). Marshall crafted this order of events himself, and if any one of those factors is interrupted (if we suggest juice at the table for instance), his whole day is off.

Monkey's Tail

We were really struggling with Marshall's nap routine when he was about 10 months old, and one of the books I consulted, The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy (FANTASTIC book), suggested we encourage Marshall to use a lovey to help soothe him. Marshall chose Monkey from his pile of stuffed animals, and now the two are inseparable. I knew that often little ones would rub their lovey's backs or pull their ears for comfort. 

What did my son choose to do? Pull monkey's tail. That's right. 

Whenever Marshall is trying to calm down to go to sleep or having a quiet moment drinking juice, he pulls Monkey's tail, over and over. This gets us some strange looks in public, but it's better than the can-you-please-keep-your-child-calm looks. (We get those too.)

preschool bath timeSniff Test

One night after Marshall's bath, I made the comment, just to be funny "Come let me sniff you so I can see if you're all clean!" We began doing that every night, at Marshall's request, but I didn't realize it had made it to tradition status until I was on a conference call one evening and a very naked Marshall ran in yelling "Sniff test! Sniff test!" Luckily I was on a call with a mom and a mom-to-be.

For Grown-Ups Too

And even though ours aren't nearly as adorable, Daniel and I have traditions too. I still check in on Marshall every night to make sure he is breathing, and Daniel is Marshall's official "belly tickler." (I was fired after not doing it right. Preschoolers are picky!) I always drink a glass of red wine (or two) while I make our sandwich bread, and I always make it twice a week.

Now that I've shared some of our family's everyday traditions, including my son's weird Monkey-tail soothing technique, I'm curious: What are the everyday traditions in your house? And how did they start?

Disclosure Statement: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on the link and buy the product, the price is the same for you, but I get a small amount of commission. (Pre-school is expensive, y'all!) I only include links to products and companies that I have personally used. 


  1. annie chewed tigger's nose and tail. vada thumbs her pacis like a poker player thumbs his chips.

  2. I used to watch Abbott & Costello and old Gene Kelly films with my mom all the time when I was little. I'd have to think about our everyday traditions now. Reading in the blue nursing chair maybe? Hmmm. Anyway, I liked this a lot.