Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Little Wins

Is there anything better than those little mommy wins?  You know, like when your kid screams, "I don't want water. I want MILK!" and you just tilt your head, raise your eyebrows and he automatically goes for a do-over.  "Mama, I want milk please?"  Way better.

While I'm still wrestling with the bigger challenges like getting the kids to sleep consistently (grr, Daylight Saving!), I've been consciously noting the little things that are working for us like surprise toys and painter's tape.  It's been good for my soul.  Here are a few more.

"Don't Wash My Hair" Meltdowns
Sophie got all weirded out about having her hair washed and rinsed for a few weeks there after somebody got soap in her eyes.  What ended the battles?  When I'm ready to lather the kids up, I tell them I'm going to give them bunny ears or doggy ears or rhinoceros horns or whatever creature is that moment's fascination, and I sculpt their sudsy hair into a goofy little masterpiece.  They get a kick out of looking at each other and at their reflections in the tub faucet.  Requests for reindeer antlers have offically replaced protests.  Mike has even given a few drama-free baths again.  :P

Clean-Up, Schmean-Up
I've always been pleased with how well Michael and Sophie clean up after themselves, but when we reached the age of two-and-a-half and the Barney "Clean Up Song" didn't consistently work magic anymore, I tried something new.  Now I alternate that song with singing in a silly voice about whatever chore I want them to do.  Remarkably, they both join right in singing and cleaning.  Look for "Put the Blocks in the Bucket" sung in the style of Louis Armstrong-meets-Cookie Monster on my first album.

We also clean up consistently at every transition, and I think that keeps Michael and Sophie pretty cooperative.  Now when I say, "Before we can go outside/eat lunch/read books for bedtime, what do we need to do?" the kids respond, "Clean up and go potty!"  We're big on routine around here.

The Potty Fly-By
It's not uncommon for the kids and me to go into the bathroom, Michael to sit on his potty, Sophie to sit on hers, and before I can get myself settled anywhere, Sophie's standing, pulling up her pants back up saying, "No potty."  Luckily I've found that "I'll tell you about the Big Bad Wolf " are the magic words to get my kids to stay seated or sit again long enough to pee in unison.  I've read them countless stories in the bathroom but telling stories engages them even more.  Quite likely, instead of "happily ever after" and such, my kids are going to think that Aesop's Fables, Mother Goose's rhymes, and Grimm's Fairy Tales all end with "Did you poop?"

Do you have any helpful tips for tricky parenting moments?  Please share any mommy (or daddy or grandma or auntie...) wins of your own!

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