76 days down, 278 to go!
Dear Mommy Baby Spot,
I am sad. I totally have Vacation Blues. I am trying to get up and running, to get back into the swing of things but the problem is, I have no desire to! I have no desire to look at my to-do list, to start driving kids back and forth, to be constrained by time commitments. I just want to be lazy. Harumph. Coming back from vacation is so brutal! Normally I feel this way for 3-5 days. Seriously. But not this time. Tonight I told myself I would reply to your question you posted last week. In doing so, it made me laugh and smile. It cheered me right up. So thank you. I hope it makes you laugh too…it should!
The Orange Rhino
Question: Have you had any moments turn funny now that you’re not yelling…where before it may have been yelling and tears?
Answer: Yes, lots of times. But it is not that the moments turned funny, they already were funny. Not yelling forces me to stop and think. And in situations like the following, that brief pause allows me to see the humor, to appreciate the humor and to chill out, instead of getting all revved up. Sometimes, you just have to laugh, either out loud or in your head. Because what else can you do??? Yell, and feel crappy or Laugh, and feel better?
Take here for example. It was dinner time. I had called #1 to come downstairs more than once. He was busy and refusing to come. I couldn’t leave the three kids in the kitchen with the stove on. As I went near the stairs for my last plea, both to #1 and to the no-yelling-fairies to keep me from losing it, Mr. Walking Closet appeared:
I mean really, what else could I do but laugh? Can you count the number of different articles of clothing? He wanted to change but couldn’t decide on what. So he wore everything, hence the delay. Hilarious if you ask me…
Then there was the moment I turned around and saw this:
What a sad looking milk “carton.” All alone in the middle of my kitchen floor. No cookies for dipping, no orange juice by his side. All alone. At first I wanted to scream at #2 for taking the milk out and leaving it there to go rotten. But then I got the camera and took this picture. Because whenever do you find Milk in the middle of the floor like this? It was kind of funny. What else could I do but laugh?
Well I guess I could have poured the milk on the floor and played slip and slide with everyone, but that would have been a sticky mess. Kind of like this:
#3 didn’t like that his pasta, Ditalini, was all cut up into small pieces. He thought I had meanly cut it up, which of course, I hadn’t. So he dumped his whole bowl out and sat at his seat for 25 minutes fastidiously trying to put his pasta back together. Needless to say it didn’t work. But it did keep me from yelling. He was just so focused and cute about his “broken pasta” that I couldn’t help but laugh. Besides, paper towel was invented for a reason. I could easily clean up the mess.
This mess however, not so easy to clean up:
Dear #4 kindly threw up while in the Exersaucer. Of course I wouldn’t yell at him for this, but the mess – and the smell – made me want to scream! It was everywhere. Not only did it splash into the bottom part, but it filled every hole in every toy on top. Normally this would have put me over the edge – would have made me cranky all day, prime for snapping and yelling. But when I looked down and saw that #4 was dancing in his throw up, I had to laugh. He had created his own slip in slide and was happy as a pig in sh*t.
Speaking of a pigsty…
#1 and #2 were supposed to be having quiet time one day while I put #3 and #4 for a nap. When I went to get them this is what I found:
Yes, that would be the mattress and the boxspring on the floor, along with ALL of #2’s clothing from his closet and ALL of his books from his bookshelf. Awesome. Old me, totally would have lost it. Old me would have seen a mess that even with their help, would have taken too much time to clean up. Old me would have seen a nuisance and would have screamed, not yelled, but screamed, WHAT THE HECK WERE YOU THINKING???? But the new me just laughed. Why?
Because when I opened the door #2, the one on the bed said “Oh shit, we’re busted, hide!” Okay first off, he said “oh shit.” Awesome parenting. Second, does it look like he is doing a good job hiding? Um, no. Too funny. Too, too funny. Now to be clear, I didn’t laugh out loud. That would have encouraged this behavior which although funny to me and them, this is not sometime I want to deal with on a regular occurrence. So I laughed to myself.
The beauty of laughing at the situation – whether it be to myself, like here, or out loud, is that it makes me re-group and talk to my kids nicer and in a more positive manner which has a better chance of them getting it…and added bonus, it doesn’t destroy their spirit! I believe what I said here was something along the lines of:
“Well, it is nice to see you two playing together and having such fun. Aren’t you boys strong (they thought they were, and well, it took a lot of strength to move the bed.) I know you are strong enough to help me put your room back together because this is not what we do to our bedrooms.” Much better alternative to yelling and tears, at least in my book.
And if all else fails and I can’t find the humor in a situation, then I try to create it. I try to break the ice. One day I had had it. HAD IT. I was ready to scream when instead I said, “Okay, raise your hands if you need a break?”
My husband, immediately, and I mean immediately, did this:
He might not like this picture of his a*s, but how funny. He dropped and put 4 “hands” in the air. Just that made me laugh and I felt better. All the growing anger and frustration left my body. Laughter completely made me re-set.
I guess laughter really is the best medicine? I know for me it works wonders…
It sure did tonight when I needed a pick me up. Hopefully tomorrow I will find more humor to help me completely kick these Vacation Blues and to keep me from yelling. Here’s hoping…Scratch that. Hoping leaves it up to someone else. Here’s FINDING humor tomorrow. Because it is there to be found. And if not found, it is there to be made. Maybe tomorrow when, not if (haha), I am ready to lose it I will just drop on my back and put my “fours” in the air like my husband and act like a dog. That sounds ridiculous. But it totally would ease my tension. I’ll let you know how it goes. I bet kids and I will be laughing…why don’t you try it too?