Don’t flip. This isn’t some freaky-deaky post like the title suggests. I haven’t jumped the shark. (Or is it, I haven’t jumped the track? The train? The cliff? I can’t even remember right now.) This post is happening in the name of setting toddler behavior back on track. What I have done is figured out a fabulous way for myself to get through some of these extra-difficult toddler days of whining over wanting both dollies, crying because I didn’t provide enough crackers in the bowl and completely losing all shreds of human rationality over not being able to slam the bedroom door shut just for $hits and giggles and the loud noise it makes. My girls are really going for it lately… and it’s trying my patience. (I can’t say I wasn’t warned from those moms wiser than me when I prayed and prayed to have all girls. Point taken.)
Let me get the obligatory “I love them soooooooo much” outta the way (because I truly do, as we all do our own), but I needed to tackle these new evil personalities head on. I yelled. They yelled. I whispered. They yelled. I spanked. One of them spanked back. I even started this ‘be good and we’ll put something in the jar’ game to fill up for a ‘surprise’ to be determined later (which kinda is working a bit). All three of us women were officially frustrated. Then I thought. I thought and I thought.
What works for me when I get whiny, frustrated and find myself in a rut? A date. My husband’s biggest problem in life is that I want to go out on fun dates with him (a tall order, I know… please send him your condolences now). Dates refresh relationships and remind us why we love the other person so much.
My toddler girls and I needed a DATE. So I planned a fast and furious one. We flitted our way to Hollywood to catch Disney’s brand new Tinkerbell movie on it’s last day (“The Pirate Fairy” was at the El Capitan). The outing had all the elements of a perfect date: 1) A hot location (what’s hotter than Hollywood… plus it was about 80 degrees outside and me-the-ding-dong had on a long sleeved shirt because “it’s March”), 2) Glamorous outfits (I dressed my fab kids as real life fairies with tutus and glitter, minus the wings), 3) Dancing (a pre-show dance party with Tink herself onstage), 4) Fabulous food & drinks (popcorn! apple juice!). We talked, we laughed, we danced, we held hands. I even got a few sweet kisses. (Too much? Ha. Had to keep up with my own ‘dating’ theme here.)
The most important wake up call for me: My girls behaved the whole time… without any conflict at all. On the way to the theater, inside the theater, when we got home… you shoulda seen them pay attention and say please and clap their hands. They listened. They waited. They cooperated. They sat still (I guess I’d sit still too if someone gave me a tub of popcorn the size of my head to inhale). Where were the rebellious brats that invaded my house the week before? G-O-N-E. Nowhere to be found. LadyP was a true lady: “Mommy can I share my popcorn with sissy?” “Mommy can I please have some more juice?” “Mommy I don’t think Zerena [one of the fairies in the movie] is very nice.” And let’s not fail to mention that my LilMiss (now 2) never once whined – or even flinched – while sitting on my lap the whole hour and a half. ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
My girls snapped back to being content and “normal” (notice I use quotation marks). Two days later (as of this writing), they still are. I guess I’m not the only woman in this house who needs fun dates.
We all need change of scenery, no matter how much time we may spend together at home. There is a time for playdates, and there is a time for dates. Had I brought along friends (and made it a playdate of sorts), I don’t think I’d have had the same results. I now see that my girls needed quality time with ME, out of the house, on a date… where we could all refresh our relationship and remind ourselves why we love each other so much. Don’t discount the power of hitting the the town with your kids, alone. Anything that keeps my children happy and in check, then my life [our lives, really] is all the more fabulous.
DO YOU DATE YOUR KIDS?