15 minutes better :: 8

This afternoon I went extravagant and spent $6 at the dollar store for a bunch of Valentine balloons, just for fun. At home I handed the weighted bunch to my delighted 3 year old to bring into the house, then quickly instructed the 12 year old to shepherd her into the house fast before any of them got away.

The 12 year old half-heartedly moved to help her but quit when the 3 year old yelled at her. I repeated my request more firmly to the 12 year old, but not in time. Inevitably, frustratingly, a balloon slipped off and flew away before we could catch it. The 12 year old looked shocked.

“THAT’s why I told you to help her!!” I said sharply, and hurried the 3 year old into the house myself, fuming that the 12 year old had chosen to listen to the toddler instead of the mom.

I was oh, so tempted to harangue my daughter more. But with a huge amount of effort I decided to shut up. Five minutes later I even managed a convincing smile and told my daughter it was no big deal. “It’s just a balloon. Maybe it went up to heaven to your mom for Valentines Day.”

Her delighted grin made me very glad I’d managed to be the grown-up, despite all my inclinations in the other direction.

How about you? How’d your day go?

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  1. Great catch, Mary! That save deserves a high 5, for sure.

  2. Oh, I have so much I could learn from you about being a grown-up. 🙂 More often than not, I say whatever is on my mind and then I end up regretting it. But oh what a feeling it is when I actually manage to control my reactions.

  3. Sick here, dying, sniffling, trying to figure out how to show love to my children when I feel like death warmed over.
    Something brilliant will come to me I’m sure.

  4. My boy just showed me a delightful, colorful picture he just painted. Thankfully I did not tell them no painting today like I really wanted to. The pride over his use of color is worth the few minutes it will take to clean up.

  5. Happy Valentine’s Day:)))))))))))

  6. I spent much of the late afternoon and evening on the floor playing with my 10 month old, 2 year old and 3 year old. I was able to do this thanks to Banquet TV dinners on sale this week. The two youngest are new foster children so I am working on bonding, tying heart strings… What better way to do this at this age then to get down on their level and bark like dog?

  7. Thanks for sharing that. Lately I’ve been so convicted that I am way too hard on my oldest for such things. I can’t seem to bridle my tongue in these teachable moments. I am aware and praying about it. I’m glad to know that I’m not the only mom that has the temptation to scold a little too much! Praise God that you used the opportunity as a healing moment for your daughter!

  8. Here is a little game we have been playing just for that reason:

    Me: HT, run a lap around the house.

    HT: What??

    Me: Run a lap around the house. (repeated several times)

    Finally, she gets that I mean it and she won’t be sent on her way until she does it.

    After the lap she is laughing at my silliness/stupidness(?) and I ask her “Why did you do that?”

    “I don’t know.” After several times of me asking her why she did this finally I told her, “Because you obeyed your mother.” Then I made her repeat it “Because I obeyed my mother.”

    I am trying to pop this exercise into the day with different kiddos and different requests. Not sure what kind of carryover it will have, but it can’t get worse – right?