Maybe it’s because when I was in elementary school, we stood in line like 25 kids deep for the water fountain cause it was definitely not a thing in 1990-anything to bring a personal water bottle. (Though you may have brought a Mondo with your lunch).
When it was your turn at the fountain, you’d gulp and gulp until it got awkward and you just knew you’d been hogging the fountain too long if you took any more slurps. Either that, or the kid that always had snot pipes dripping nose to lip complained to the teacher that you were taking too long — remember?
My kids will come home from school with their Pottery Barn water bottles embossed with their names, (in cursive lettering, obv) having taken maybe one sip. One sip, like all. day. long.
“I forgot!” they’ll say. Or one of my favorite excuses is that the straw got dislodged from the four million parts that are required to sync up perfectly for the water bottle to function. The list goes on, but that old saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink” plays like a rap song in my head, which I’m obviously banging against a wall. Not a Wonder Wall (what is that, btw). Definitely not a water fall either, just sayin’.
Anyway. I’m trying…try-ing to facilitate a little more of a “helpy-selfy” atmosphere around here because I think my love of caring for people combined with what always seems like a shortage of time (if you have young kids and have to be to school on time you know it’s just so much easier to do [insert literally anything] for them when you’re in a hurry. That, and they’ve seen their littlest brother get extra help because he was a baby. But now, he’s the only one who pushes a step stool up to the cabinet and helps himself to a snack.
It’s time to instill a little moxie around here. Don’t get me wrong - they definitely have it in other aspects of their character (I know, I live with them and see what happens when one person gets an unfair divide of the property lines of a pillow fort).
But I’d like to see them unscrew their water bottle and drink from the lip if the straw falls out. Or hey, maybe they could just get a glass of water for themselves when they’re thirsty rather than yelling across the house that they need a drink (when they know I fill up their water bottles and place them in the same exact spot in the kitchen every single morning).
I just know I’d be doing them a disservice if I didn’t take the slowdown of the upcoming summer to push them towards a little more independence in both their hydration and snack departments, as well as the “find something fun to do outside/use your imagination/ you have siblings so you can play and fight with them!!” departments.
I feel like this kind of segues into a project I did yesterday, which was making this bar cart in our sun room functional for every day life. There will be an upcoming article on this, but I really like the idea of reminding yourself to use all the spaces in your home and not saving them for just special occasions. This bar cart was helpful for parties, but I thought maybe I could make it useful for every day, too.
Without further adieu, here are my two takes on bar carts — grown up and pretty, then kid-friendly and functional.
Grown up bar cart:
Ooh, I had a lot of fun styling this. I love the monochromatic color scheme and the repetition of the rose, mini champagne bottles and La Croix.
But. I would never drink any of that warm! (Wait, I mean, I would if I had too, I have water moxie, I swear). This setup just doesn’t really work unless everything is pre-chilled and you’re having a party. Like right now. Same goes for the lemons and limes, the throw pillow - they’re just for looks and while that’s fun and I’ll totally put it on my Pinterest page — I’m just really going for usability. Which brings me to the second round of bar cart decor.
Since this is a screened in sun porch, its protected from rain and most of the elements, but humidity and pollen find their way in. So I bought sealed containers to put cards, games, sunblock and bug repellent, straws and little pool toys and squirt guns in to keep them fresh and clean. I added sidewalk chalk and tennis balls for our dogs to a caddy with a handle so the kids could move the whole kit and caboodle when they want to play. I also added mini sand kits from Target, bubbles and you guessed it — a water station!
Maybe it will inspire my kids to get what they need for their outdoor play — and maybe even drink some H2O— all on their own.