He Rose to the Challenge with a Jar of Peanut Butter

I lost it this morning. No, I take that back. I didn’t totally lose it this morning. That would be yesterday when I had three kids crying at once, one who had been going for over half an hour and I couldn’t get her to stop, and she got everyone else going, and then an hour later after lunch was done they were all still bellyaching and while I was setting up a crib for naptime a gear board fell on my toe, and I slammed it to the floor and stomped on it. That would be when I lost it.

TODAY, I lost it in that my sons dragged me into a ridiculous roundy-round fight that I knew couldn’t be won, but I just kept coming back for more.

Nobody was really yelling, it was just a nagging fight. A circle of nagging. I know it’s ridiculous, a waste of energy, and that I can rise above it, and I don’t know why, but I go for it. (Does it feel good to yell? Um…kinda.) But I still get all mad at myself because I fell for it, which ultimately is not that big of a deal, but when you are a Child Care Professional you know that you have the skills to avoid all this nonsense. See? Roundy-round.

It started because Younger Son was mad at Mr. R for touching his hand-crafted pottery candleholder. When most children go to a museum they buy candy, a book, or some historically-inspired toy. Younger had to have a hand-crafted pottery candleholder. It’s cool, he’s an artist.

But for some reason he was haranguing me because the baby touched his stuff. And I actually used the word “haranguing” to describe why I was mad when Dave asked. Because it describes exactly what he was doing to me. Ha. Raaaaang. Ing-uh. (A lot of times I’ll say my name has three syllables because when someone is complaining to me I hear, “A-meeee-UH!”)

Dave didn’t want to be left out. He jumped right into the nag circle to remind Younger that “everything in there is fair game and if you don’t want it touched – pick it up and put it away!!!”

We’ve been struggling a bit lately with the boys not wanting to put their stuff away. Ever.

At one point I was standing in the hallway holding someone’s coat (with Mr. R blubbering and hanging on my legs) yelling, “Come on! Why don’t we all just add to this noise? Why don’t we all make it harder? This is awesome!!!”

(Totally off topic – Miss D said “Awesome” today with a little of my southern CT accent. I just about died.)

So now Younger was in the livingroom chasing Mr. R around. I told him to leave the room, he didn’t. I knew I wasn’t in the right place to take charge so I delegated. “Dave!! Will you please get them interested in SOMETHING ELSE?!”

And he totally rose to it. With a jar of peanut butter. It was just like something I would do. He was making their sandwiches and it was a brand-new jar and they were admiring the smoothness of the untouched peanut butter. Dave said, “Do you want to be the first to mess it up?” and immediately fingers were jammed into the jar.

And I wasn’t even mad or jealous, I was just relieved that the ridiculousness had stopped.

And that is why it helps to have a great partner in this crazy world of raising children.

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