I have pretty much seen just about everything a toddler can get into. Not too long ago I was prepping my meals for the week when my one year old walked into the kitchen with a battery in his mouth and my two year old had figured out how to get his head in the oven behind my back. Thank goodness the oven was not turned on.
I am also very certain that the water on my toddler’s toothbrush yesterday was from the toilet instead of the sink.
So what should I do? Hop on my phone and google the horrors that might occur from drinking a little toilet water or look up other horror stories about babies and batteries?
#1 I try to find the humor in the chaos.
The things that happen around the house on a normal day can actually be quite comical.
I get peed on and my freshly washed hair, that I hadn’t taken the time to wash in three days, gets chunky throw up in it almost right after I finish with the straightener and my four year old has found a new love for peeing in a cup and handing it to me ever since he took a visit with me to my OB GYN.
I could get really angry about the vomit and the batteries or whine about the fact that there is actual urine in the cups I drink out of but what good does that really do? The anger and whining and the horror stories of the Internet just breed anxiety and frustration.
So I try to find the humor in the chaos.
I choose to find the comic relief behind the situations that do not seem to go my way.
#2 Don’t jump at every single opportunity to correct you kids.
If I corrected every wiggle, every spill and every selfish moment I would be correcting my kids every second of the day. Sometimes you need to just let them be kids and figure it out on their own.
I am trying to learn to correct my boys if they are causing serious danger to themselves or others or if there is direct defiance towards me.
You know the sayings:
Choose your battles.
Don’t major on the minors.
Pick one or maybe two things that you are going to work on with you kids and correct only those behaviors. You will find rest and peace when your whole day is not spent bickering at your children.
#3 Don’t freak out.
Imagine you’re in trouble, let’s say trapped in a burning house, and the first responders find you and start freaking out.
“Oh, my… What did you do? How did you do this? What were you thinking? This is terrible! This is the worst burning house I have ever seen.”
I would die from anxiety if first responders were not trained to remained calm.
Try to remain calm when your kid falls off the couch or gets their fingers pinched in the door. It happens to pretty much everyone. Your fretting and worry only makes the situation worse.
You are their first responder. Remain calm for your child and don’t add to their anxiety.
Just breathe and don’t freak out.
I have sent my oldest son into a frantic tantrum when one of my other children pooped in the bathtub. Because I was anxious he was balled up on the floor hyperventilating in the fetal position because poopy water touched his body.
I have scarred him for life because I was a poor first responder.
#4 Be flexible and be nice to yourself.
My kids have been known to put themselves to bed and my 20 month old never forgets to tell me that 8am is “breakfast time.” Like clockwork we eat, sleep and play but I have learned that the needs of my children are more important than my routine.
Some of my four year old’s best memories include times like when we skipped the zoo and ate our breakfast on a blanket while watching Cars movie.
If you have planned a big day out but everyone is melting down because they are tired from a long weekend, stay home instead. If maybe you are just too tired to get out the play doh and finger paints on craft day, skip the crafts and go outside instead.
Be nice to yourself. Experiencing story time or another finger painting activity is not worth the thirty minutes of torturous tantrums from kids or mommy. It is more important if everyone is emotionally and physically rested than getting through that structured activity you had planned.
Be flexible and be nice to yourself.
It’s simple really. Breathe and relax there is grace for you, grace for your children and grace for this day. His mercies are abundant and never ending.
Find the laughter in the chaos.
Don’t correct every little thing.
Be a good first responder.
Be flexible and be nice to yourself.