Magic Ways to Make It Better
March 2, 2001

All mommies everywhere kiss owies to make them better, but I've learned a few other fun ways to make things better.

My friend Trevi taught me about throwing owies in the street. When her daughter Simone was hurt or sad, she would scoop up the imaginary owie and dramatically fling it toward the window. She'd shout at it and make a grand scene of chastising it, and it worked every time. (Trevi, leave a comment below so people can click and read your fabulous stuff!)

When my daughter Victoria is crying I sometimes give her an empty glass to fill with tears. I learned this one from my babysitter when I was tiny, and I still remember how intently I would sit and try to cry. It works so well I almost feel guilty! She tries and tries but she just can't make herself cry anymore when she needs to.

My mother used to give me butterfly touches to ease my stomach aches, and even as an adult they still work. Trailing the lightest touch across bellies helps upset tummies, tension and also helps bring on sleep.

For my baby, the best way to deal with teething pain and earaches isn't tylenol or teething rings, it's finger plays. Distraction is still the number one pain reliever for cranky babies! When Annalee is upset, I'll suddenly dash a finger around the carseat or over the back of a chair and dance it around, then duck it back. She instantly pays more attention to the scene than the pain.

My husband gives Victoria "happy water" when she's sad. It's an invisible cup of something that he hands her. She dutifully drinks it and then he asks if it worked. If she says no he tells her she better have some more, and they make believe back and forth till she decides she's better.

We improvise a lot around here too. If Victoria says her foot is hurt, I'll tend to it first and then ask if a kiss would make it better. If that's not enough, I'll ask if a poke in the belly will make it better and if she says no I'll ask if tickling her ear will make it better... I go on and ask for her suggestions too, until she decides on something herself that will make it better. Lately she's announced "chocolate will make it better I think!". She's my daughter all right. That's what makes mama better too!

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All works on this site Alicia Bayer unless otherwise noted.
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