How do I handle 5 kids? I pick my battles. I pick them very carefully.
It was time to go to #3’s soccer game after a rainstorm. Muddy fields and all. And #4 decided that this was a must-wear:
Ms. Tutu-and-Rainboots was a hit at the field. And she splashed in the mud and the puddles and dirtied the tutu. But, she was all smiles and I averted a temper tantrum before we left home. I call this “Big Picture” thinking. Taking a step back to survey the situation. A happy #4 hopping around in her boots while twirling in a tutu far outweighs the cost of having to scrub a dirty tutu.
Then we arrived home and found a chunk of hair that was clearly cut off of someone’s head. A small someone’s head. The texture and colour matched 2 possible heads – #3 or #4. Another clue to the culprit – #4 has been obsessed with trying to master cutting with scissors. Here’s how the interrogation went down:
Ever-Patient to #3: “Did you cut your hair?”
Ever-Patient to #4: “Did you cut your hair?”
#4 with pride: “YES!”
She’s a tough one to crack apparently.
Ever-Patient: “Can we let the barber cut your hair next time?”
#4: “Who’s Barbra?”
We pick our battles. Especially since you can’t notice where exactly the chunk of hair is missing from:
Then we briefly reviewed that scissors are only used for paper and not for cutting your hair (or anyone else’s). It’s not always this easy to see the Big Picture. Sometimes the terrible twosome of fatigue and impatience accompanied by the nasty “What will people think?” monster get the best of us and we overreact to otherwise harmless events that really just demonstrate how kids can be kids – finding unconventional ways to express themselves without a malicious intent remotely entering their minds.
They are curious and are constantly exploring the world, experimenting with funny words and figuring out how things work. They make me laugh when I desperately need to. They remind me how childhood comes only once. They teach me how seemingly incompatible items can actually work quite well together like tutus and rainboots and scissors in #4’s hand.