Rassling Monday to the ground

For years my husband had Mondays off, which made Mondays seem less Monday-ish to me.   We could ease back into the school week with him nearby to flip pancakes, check math, or bring the 4 year old to ‘work’ outside with him while I read with older kids.  Recently John started working Mondays, and I’ve realized how spoiled I was.

Today was one of those days– multiple kid ‘tudes’, even before breakfast.  After breakfast, it was time for math– fractions and story problems with 4 different kids (all who seemed to be suffering from Monday brain) while also trying to do phonics with 2 others.  The kids all got stuck multiple times, missed problems, needing multiple correction/redo sessions. Math seemed to drag on for an eternity, and my mood wasn’t helping anyone.

I walked out to grab the mail, breathed in some fresh air, and regrouped.  How to shake off the crankies and survive the rest of the day?  Back inside, a kid had forgotten (for the 5th time) the definition of horizontal.   I contemplated making her write down the definition 10 times, but instead hauled her outside and dramatically swept my arm gesturing across the horizon.

“Horizon! The line where the sky and the land meet, that’s horizontal,” I said, waving back and forth Vanna-White-style.  She giggled.

“Say it with me, ” I said.  “Yell it!  Wave your arm.”   I wanted to make a big memory in her brain, so that the word wouldn’t fall outa there again.

She raised her eyebrows, looking towards the nearest house, a good 400 feet from ours.  “The neighbors will think we are silly. ”

“I don’t care, ” I said, still waving.  “Holler it out good and then you can go back inside.”

She laughed and gave in, and yelled and waved, quiet at first, and then louder.  We went inside grinning.

Back inside, a kid with an attitude earned a brisk jog around the house– and came back in grinning.  Soon after that I remembered a sewing project that I’d been planning to try, and I decided to do it– today.   Then I made chicken and rice soup for lunch — with plenty of chili sauce for a good endorphin rush– and the bad mood was well on its way to being dispelled.

So the recipe for me today:   fresh air and fresh perspective, a little silliness, a lot of chili sauce,  a jog around the house for the crankiest ones, and the promise of a craft project for mom.

What works at your house?

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  1. I remembered your running-around-the-house story one particularly challenging school day and have done similar things here: jumping jacks, sprints to the front door and back, mandatory wiggling time, etc. My kids, like your kids, respond to those out-of-the-norm things, which make the everyday things much easier to swallow.

    Love all your great (unintended) tips — keep ’em coming!

  2. Love your dramatic way of teaching your daughter “horizon” – she won’t be forgetting that one in a hurry!

  3. It’s just Don (very nice husband) and me in our house. And I seen to be able to fix nearly anything with a nice pot of soup. Especially if it has a bit of a kick (hot sauce or whatever) to it.

    I remember kids. Not quite so easy. But it sounds like you did a good job of today’s problems. I taught nursery school for 7 years, and recognize that it takes lots of “stuff” to ward of the children’s problems of the day.

    Have a very nice day. And I certainly admire your mothering skills.

  4. first of all, I can’t believe you commented on my blog.
    okay. got that out of the way.
    next, I love that you used the word rassling because that is totally how I feel some days. either that or just wringing all the love & joy outta the thing.

    so, yeah. at our house we sing silly songs. we go on a sunny walk (yeah, me & husband + five kids galloping down the road…hee hee). we paint with watercolors or get out all the crafty stuff & see what happens.
    oh & kari jobe. have you heard any of her music? check it out. it is like a midday frappacino for a mommy’s heart.
    or something.

  5. Ohhhh….Monday brain combined with fractions and (oh, the horror) story problems…yuck! Glad you were able to turn things around. Getting out of the black hole of negativity is not always something I’m good at.

  6. That’s pretty much what we do. (Although we don’t run around the house, seeing as winter makes that life-threatening.) (Although, now that I think about it, nothing changes the attitude like a little danger.)

    I’ve found getting goofy, doing something unexpected, doing something physical and turning off the TV/computer are all great mood changers.

  7. I soooo know what you are talking about! My son has been getting the “Monday morning blues” the last few weeks. He looks at his school list and kind of just wilts. Today, I sent him outside to run around for awhile. He came in feeling a little better. It sounds like you have great ideas for getting your day back on track.

  8. i like this for my colleagues (and me) at work.

  9. My kidlets are grown, but when they were home and we were all having an off day we’d stop and change into our pajamas. Everyone (including me) got back into bed, some pretended to snore, and then we’d “wake up” and start the day all over again. We’d dress, cook breakfast together regardless of the time of day, and make our “new” day better than the one we ended.

  10. Seems as if there has been alot of this going around the past few days! I will take your advice and give it a try! Thanks!!!

  11. Hmmmm….sounds like your Monday was just like ours! I was very thankful for the weather yesterday because my kids were able to take breathers OUTSIDE. But for me, sometimes when the day gets to be too much in homeschool, I give the kids a break and I head into my room to pray. 🙂

  12. Well, I’ve got thing to contribute… I just popped over here for all the great advice. 🙂
    Perspective is a bit important isn’t it? Wish I could remember that, every second of every frustrating moment, especially the homeschooling ones!

  13. Funny you should post about this. I posted about this today, too. My tip? Plain ole apology and forgiveness with a healthy dose of prayer. Sounds silly, but boy, does it work wonders.

    I also think there’s nothing like a breath of outside air on a cranky day.

  14. I always think about our friend who will take his small boys, hoist them up by the ankles, and *shaaake* the grumpies out. Works like a charm every time 🙂 Granted, both boys are under 35 pounds so this is feasible for them. Perhaps not for your older kids ;o)