Pick Your Battles. Laugh A Lot.

People ask me how I do it with all these kids, dogs, and chickens running around.  And I think the answer is that I pick my battles and usually choose laughing over yelling or crying (unless I have PMS, in which case, I will ALWAYS choose crying).  I probably tell my husband at least a few times a week to “pick your battles”.  Our two-year-old daughter is just full of personality and I don’t want to squash that by not allowing her to express herself.  And she’s not supposed to be perfect and clean and happy all the time!  Oh, and my son, who is typically always happy, is teething and feverish and crabby most of the time now, so that’s fun.  Ya just gotta lighten up or you’ll end up in the looney bin!  So here are a few fun examples of how I deal with my life…

Getting the kids to bed is an exercise in patience.  We throw them in the tub together, but if we don’t gauge their moods, when they last ate, when they last napped, and how the stars are aligned, the timing of this can be a real problem.  Either they scream while having their hair washed, demand bottles, ask for a second dinner, or some unholy combination.  It was on just such a night when my daughter uttered her first curse word.  We had just gotten them out of the tub, toweled off and in diapers.  My daughter (and husband) we’re both annoyed that she had not received her bottle in a timely fashion so my husband made a growl of frustration.  My daughter copied him, with her little fists in the air, and exclaimed, “Damn it!  Damn it!”  I looked at my husband, ran across the hall to my son’s room, put myself in the corner and laughed hysterically while my husband asked her not to say those words (which she probably learned from him).  Now, I don’t want her to be “that kid” at daycare who teaches all the other kids to swear but, she did use it in the proper context, and it was adorable.  I’ve also found, if you don’t make a big deal of it, neither will they, and after a short while they’ll stop, thankfully.  Pick your battles and laugh a lot.

Feeding a toddler is a pain in the ass.  My daughter used to eat everything, from broccoli, to salmon, to wedges of lemon.  Now she wants waffles.  Day in, day out, all day long, just waffles.  We do manage to get her to eat eggs, fruit pouches, cheese, yogurt, etc, but my girl loves carbs (she is surely my daughter).  My husband has been a little too concerned about her eating habits from day one, in my opinion, wanting her to finish her whole plate at every meal, worried she’ll want to snack all day otherwise.  I did not have a healthy relationship with food as a kid (few females do, apparently), and I’m trying to avoid that with my daughter.  I want her to eat what she wants, when she wants, and how much she wants, within reason.  She’s a peanut, so I’m just glad she’s getting the essentials to grow and that she still likes most fruits and veggies.  Most of the time, she’ll eat at least some of the meal I’ve prepared first, so that’s a win in my book!  And besides, these aren’t frozen Eggo waffles.  Oh no!  I cook batches of the waffles a few times a week, adding blueberries, cinnamon, bananas, etc.  Listen, I just want her belly to be full and happy, even if that means I’ll need to replace my waffle iron soon.  Pick your battles and laugh a lot.

And finally, I mentioned before, my son is normally a happy little dude and his older sister is full of personality.  As you can imagine, that means she’s already bossing him around.  But don’t worry, the universe had a plan – even though she’s 15 months older than him, he’s already almost as big as her!  So a lot of the time, I let them work out their little squabbles.  My son will actually talk (or yell) back to her when she’s “giving him the business”.  My mom sometimes worries about him, but as long as there’s no hitting involved, I love to sit back and laugh while they have their little arguments.  Pretty soon I’ll be telling them to pick their battles and laugh a lot too!

My daughter, enjoying her dinner (waffles) while reviewing this week’s sales ads.

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