Tuesday, November 3, 2009


It’s so hard to explain a year to a four year old….much less a two year old. Actually…I am having a tough time grasping a year apart. Jakob has been questioning me about just how long Jason will be gone.  Time doesn’t mean much to the boys….each day is a new day and counting them down, or realizing how long has passed is beyond them.  Jakob understands weeks, but months or a year? He’s not quite there.

So when learning that Daddy was going to be gone for a year, I reached out to my friends with small children and asked them how they were going to help their little ones understand this, or if they had already done it, what they had done in the past.  A good friend suggested I get a jar, fill it with 365 pieces of candy, and each day the boys get to pick out one piece and eat it. Eventually the level will go down and they will realize that Daddy should be home soon. 

I chose M&M’s for my boys.  Jakob’s favourite!  Unfortunately, I misjudged how much room 365 M&M’s would take and got jars that are WAY to big! I need to get back to Walmart and get smaller ones…but in the meantime these will do.  Jakob and Aiden get very excited when they get up in the morning to head to those jars and chose their one M&M.  Jakob declared this morning after eating his “One more day closer to Daddy coming home!”  He misses him so much. 

I have also been told to find something to look forward to…something in the near future, something in the not so near future, and something in the far future….like Jason coming home for R&R.  So for this week it is Cupcake Happy Hour at the bakery, then next week is the Children’s Book Fair, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas, and then Jason possibly coming home in March for Jakob’s birthday. 

It’s all working well right now….I also think it is a matter of consistency and keeping things as normal as possible.  Wish me luck.

Take care,
Love Big, Bake Often


Krista said...

This is a really great idea! It's hard for kids to understand the concept of time. When my sister & I moved away from home for school (out of state), it was really hard for our youngest sister to understand how long we would be gone for and when she would see us again. My mom did exactly what you are doing - she gave her big events to look forward to and keep her "distracted." And they also put up alot of "paper chains" in her room to count down the weeks & days before we were able to visit. Hang in there - it will get easier :)

Megan said...

Oh, I feel for you - it's so tough and little ones just don't understand.

I like what you are doing - and I'd like a big jar filled with M&M'd too!

Cristine said...

That is such a great idea! My daughter was 3 when my husband headed to Iraq the second time and my son was born while he was gone. A year apart is hard for kids to grasp. I'm so glad you found something that will work for you. May the year pass quickly for you all.

J said...

I'll send along a bag of M&Ms just for you, for those days when the boys' jars are just too full.

Sarah said...

I wish I could understand more completely the pain you guys are all going through - even though I sympathize with you all I know it's never the same as someone telling you they KNOW how you feel! I have to admire your strength and your ingenious teaching method for your children, though... I doubt I'd ever have thought of that if I was in your shoes.

If you ever need anything, you know how to reach me! I'm just a DM away *hugs*

Barbara Bakes said...

I love the M&M idea! I hope the year goes quickly for all of you! God Bless!

April said...

Love the candy jar idea!! I think of you and your boys every day. I hope it does get easier on them...and you!

leafy bombshell said...

I really love this idea! I can really hope that its just a year. As part of a military family, I know that waiting is the hardest part... especially when you are hoping they don't do something to mess up the time count.

With my nephew they can't explain when Daddy will be back or when he'll be going to see him. He seems to deal with it well, some days he's more aware than others. But luckily as my bro is in Korea, he can somewhat consistently webcam with his son and be a part of his life.

Taking it one day at a time is always best.

berrybushel said...

Good luck! That m&m idea is a great one! It will be a tough year, but having a visible sign of time passing will surely help.

Rachel said...

Wow - that's great. I hope the year passes quick!