Most of the time situations don’t go as planned. But that morning, all the pieces fell together.
Navigating life with two kids has been quite the challenge so far for Matthew and me. We learned long ago (precisely 4 years and 5 months ago) that plans almost never work exactly as you see them in your head. And that no matter how well prepared you think you might be, no matter how hard you try, you’re going to run into some type of roadblock, whether major or minor, and you have to adjust.
A lot of the time we are so tired we can’t think quickly or clearly, therefore exasperating the problem at hand. It’s unlikely we are on the same wavelength; we play tug-of-war with our separate solutions until the rope breaks and we fall hopelessly into an argument.
But this morning was different. This morning we were thinking similarly – and clearly – and we jumped over the hurdle quickly.
We were almost ready to head out the door when we got the message (which was entirely my fault because I hadn’t looked at my phone until then). The day care was without power because of an overnight storm, and we wouldn’t be able to take Hayden until power was restored.
Making a quick decision to split up the kids — Matthew taking Nathaniel to preschool and I taking Hayden to work with me — we only paused a moment before we were in route again. I decided quickly that I might as well try taking the baby with me. At times my job is too busy and it wouldn’t be worth it. But getting even a small amount of work done – I decided on this day – would be better than sitting at home and accomplishing nothing. Plus, there’s that added bonus of when you bring a baby into an office, people want to snatch him up and love on him, relieving you for a moment or several.
So a quick switch of the bags from the car to the truck and an explanation to Nathaniel (he was just excited Daddy got to take him that day), we were out the door.
I don’t mean to brag; I just like to celebrate the small things. I NEED to celebrate the small things. In most similar situations, compounding factors make a smooth transition of change impossible.
On a regular day, making it out the door without Hayden needing to eat, needing changed or getting sick at the last minute; without an argument with Nathaniel of what to wear or about whether he is planning on actually eating the breakfast we spent our precious time preparing for him, is nearly impossible.
So patting ourselves on the back for this seemingly small accomplishment on this rare day helps us make it through all the other chaotic ones.
Speaking of getting out the door … what tricks do you use to get your kids moving (in the mornings or at other times)?
At our house, we sometimes play games:
Surprise Daddy by getting dressed before he gets out of the shower.
See who can brush their teeth the fastest and get them the whitest.
Or we bargain:
I’ll race you if you go brush your teeth with me right now.
Eat your breakfast so you can help me pack the car, watch some TV, etc.
In all these instances we make a HUGE deal out of cooperation and accomplishment. We feel like praise goes a lot further than the alternative.
What do you think?