Friday, January 7, 2011

Keeping my cool

A blogger I follow pretty regularly (I'm a REAL LIFE mom) posted about overreacting to kid stuff today and asked how her readers deal with with their nerves.  I was going to leave a long long looong (if you've read my posts, you know how I like to go on) comment until I realized I could jump into 2011 with a brand new blog post that will hopefully be more entertaining than hearing about how sick I've been and how it was almost like a vacation from all responsibility, but one where I was almost passed out the entire time in between visits to the exotic locale known as the bathroom.

So, without further ado (and slightly tounge-in-cheek)... my take on keeping my cool with two noisy kids who sometimes do things I don't want them to do.
By: One Mom of two, soon to be three, noisy kids.

My kids are pretty good.  They're pretty helpful, they like to sit together while they watch Sponge Bob (who ever thought a yellow cartoon sponge would bring siblings together), and they will even sometimes play quietly together while sharing toys.  This weekend the kids were even cleaning (with water and vinegar, not the hard stuff) the kitchen stove, fridge, dishwasher, floor, you name it they cleaned it!

But sometimes... sometimes they are not helpful, they can't sit in the same room together without someone pushing someone else for no reason, and one child will not allow the other child to look at their toys.  And sometimes they make more messes than they could ever clean up.

It's during those times I find myself overusing this phrase:

"Of Course  ."

As in,
"Of course Katie dropped her juice on the floor right after the kitchen was cleaned up for the afternoon."

"Of course Jake grabbed the mug of coffee daddy left on the edge of the kitchen table and walked alllll the way into the living room to dump it out on the carpet."

"Of course Katie was spinning the desk chair while Jake was sitting in it."

"Of course Jake fell out of the spinning chair."

When I say "Of course..." it brings me back to the reality that I've got two kids and as awesome as they are 100% of the time, and as sweet as they are 99% 90% 80% a lot of the time, they are still kids.  Soooo, saying "of course" is just my way of telling myself, "Hey, foolish mommy.  Quit thinking that their behavior/attitude/hand eye coordination is going to be excellent 100% of the time because they are KIDS.  There will be times when things are going to get messy... and someone's probably going to walk away with a bruise." 

And when I say "Of course..." it makes me address the current issue specifically (Of course Jake just pulled Katie's juice glass off of the kitchen table") and once I state it, I can start to work on how to fix it (running to pry it out of his fingers before he runs to the living room to show me his handywork.). 

It's not perfect... there have been times I've let out a very loud "ARGH" because I can't even begin to formulate the words.  But it's actually helped me focus.  Before I get down on the floor to scrub.  And put a kid in the tub.  And add more clothes to the laundry basket.  Also?  Once I accumulate enough "of course's" I've earned a crazy mom laugh and some ice cream.

Oh, and just for fun I'll throw in another little phrase.

"At least the toilet ain't broke."

This is an oldie from before we had kids.  John picked me up from my temp job (he was unemployed and I was on a short assignment) and showed me our credit card bill (that we really couldn't afford).  I guess he was expecting full freakout mode and I was a little "meh" about it.  He was surprised but moved on to share more news.



THEN he told me, in a nonchalant way, almost as an afterthought, that the toilet. wasn't. working. 

In our one bathroom house. 

After hearing that news I did freak out a little.  I mean, I have to USE the bathroom on a more-than-daily basis.

He thought that was funny* and a saying was born.

* That phrase was still funny when we brought Katie home from the hospital after she was born and we couldn't open the front door.  I stood on the front steps with Katie in her car seat after recovering from my C-section waiting for John to run around to the back door to get into the house.  As I listened to his footsteps as he ran all the way through the house to open the front door, all I could think was "Well, at least the toilet ain't broke."