Most of my mornings start off with my 9-year-old immediately picking a fight with my 5-year-old. He knows just the right buttons to push: calling him tedious, telling him he is annoying, loudly yelling at him to eat with his mouth closed, and these are just a few examples, and the 5-year-old responds with whining and the wonderful yell/whine combination which drives me up the wall, and thus begins the first moments of my day. In an attempt to stop this we have done the whole yell at them to just shut up (oddly, that didn’t work), we have sent kids back upstairs to restart the day, we have taken away electronics(this didn’t fair well because once taken away they feel they have nothing else to lose), we have made them say sorry and hug it out, and all for nothing. Every morning it is still the same. So after some pondering we have decided to a new approach, yet again. This may fail miserably, but one day we are bound to hit upon something that works (I hope). My 9-year-old loves stuffed animals, his bed is a stuffed animal menagerie so if the morning starts out with him picking a fight then the 5-year-old is allowed to pick 3 stuffed animals and for one week they are his. The 5-year-old is actually quite responsible and serious in most matters, one thing he won’t tolerate is being late for school. Well, now if the whining starts up then he goes upstairs for 15 minutes and if it happens that he is late for school a time or two so be it, perhaps the fear of being late will put this kid in check. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Once I get kids out the door I have to run errands, and one errand that has become too familiar is going to the Apple Store. Our dear computer has gone bust. They have tried one thing, then they tried another, and now we are trying a third. Luckily, the Apple Store has iPad stations for tiny kids like mine. They love them. When they hear me say we have to go the Apple store they are pumped-even the 1-year-old starts chanting: iPads iPads iPads. So thank you for small things that make errands you don’t want to do a bit easier.
Of course, when you are out doing errands sometimes kids have to pee. Most of the time a bathroom is nearby, but there are times when it isn’t all too convenient for a kid to pee. I have found during these moments I love having mostly boys because they have peed in parking lots, parking garages, behind trees, and into an empty water bottle (just make sure you screw the lid back on). Plus, if they refuse these options you know they didn’t really need to go.
In just an ordinary day I have to use so many different skills to survive living with and going out in public with my kids. I am now a pro in crisis management, logistics, creative thinking, adaptability, problem solving, and handling pressure. Parents really are a kick ass group of people.