Complete shock — Not one tear nor tantrum from dinner through bedtime!

by Susan

Julia

I love my girls so much I’d have to hire a poet to describe it.

But most nights if you were spying through my blinds anytime from 5:00 pm through 8:00 pm, you’d likely hear some screaming, crying and tantruming. And you’d see me losing my patience.

It’s no surprise to me that Super Nanny works on the parents behavior and not the kids. I know that it’s basically all about how I handle the situation and that my parenting is down-the-street-and-around-the-block from perfection.

But tonight was such an example, it shocked me.

SophiaI’m not saying I parented perfectly tonight, or even that I wouldn’t get torn to pieces by the Super Nanny.

But, I put in 110% effort and made sure I didn’t reveal my inner stress, impatience or try to multi-task by checking email or answering the phone.

And thanks to a couple of little miracles, Sophia and Julia both ate dinner, played, got ready for bed and fell asleep without a single tear, fight or tantrum.

So what happened?

Dinner time started just like any night. I started to feel stress building inside me as I anticipated Sophia refusing to eat and ending up screaming and kicking on the floor about something.

In my sing-song happy voice, while holding a visibly tired Sophia in my arms, I told the girls it was dinner time. And Sophia immediately started reaching for the cupboard and starting to say “No! Yum, yums!” Which means she wants crackers or some other snack instead of dinner.

I felt panic rise inside me. In my sing-song voice, I tried, “No Sophia, it’s time for dinner.” She still was reaching and calling out to the cupboard.

But there on the counter, I saw her tin of markers. “Hey Sophia, do you want to color?”

Insert small miracle here.

Sophia looked at the markers and forgot about the cupboard. We all sat down at their little table with the markers and some coloring pages.

Julia and SophiaWe talked about what Julia drew that day at preschool and I managed to feed both girls while we colored.

Yes, it was a small but very welcome miracle.

With such relief that dinner was a roaring success, we went to the playroom and I got down on the floor and put all my energy and focus into playing with them.

After a little while, I asked if they wanted to go have a bath. Since I’d bathed and shampooed them last night, I didn’t really mind if we skipped the bath, so I decided to give them the choice.

Julia suggested we do yoga instead. (I used to do baby yoga videos with Julia when she was smaller, but we hadn’t done any in months.)

So we turned on the baby yoga video and had a wonderful time. When Daddy came home from work at 7:00 pm the girls were still having a blast doing a children’s ABC yoga video.

Knowing we were getting late for bed, I quickly got them to pick out some books and hurry upstairs. We did our little sponge bath wipe-down routine for nights where we’ve skipped a bath, and got jammies on and teeth brushed. (Okay, Sophia did let out some yelps as I tried to brush her teeth.)

We read some stories, I sang some songs, and they fell asleep.

It may have only been one night without tears, but I am beyond grateful and I’m holding on to the memory.

~Susan
ps. You can watch one of my live action Mommy Confessions about dinner-time here.

pps. You’re getting our feed, right?



Email Author    |    Website About Susan

Susan Carraretto and her identical twin, Janice Croze, created 5 Minutes for Mom in 2006. Susan loves all social media, but her top addiction these days is Pinterest. She recently published a children's book titled "The Pest Detectives" which you can download now in digital format for free.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 TheQueen November 20, 2009 at 6:10 am

Oh, it’s nights like this that remind us we want to get out of bed and do it all over again the next morning. Yay for small miracles!
(And glad to see I’m not the only one whose witching hours are 5-8 pm.) :)

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2 Jennifer, Snapshot November 20, 2009 at 6:40 am

Doesn’t it feel SO good to have a small success?? Even if it’s just one.

I also get frustrated, but good for you for recognizing it and doing everything right — and reaping immediate rewards!!

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3 Susie's Homemade November 20, 2009 at 8:45 am

Isn’t it great when you have peaceful time?

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4 Jessica Harwood November 20, 2009 at 10:01 am

Oh my. Something to look forward to when I have children! I know dinner/bedtime at my house growing up was always when my mom would get the most frustrated. That’s probably why!
{and yes, your feed was working for me}

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5 Tarasview November 20, 2009 at 11:43 am

it is vital to celebrate nights like that!! :)

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6 Priscilla-wheelchair Mommy November 20, 2009 at 11:55 am

That sounds awesome. Redirection works…just remembering to use it……

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7 Mommy Taylor November 20, 2009 at 2:54 pm

I love nights like that… where everything goes smoothly. :)

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8 Shannon November 20, 2009 at 4:50 pm

I know EXACTLY what you mean. When I manage to hold in my frustration and just offer empathy and understanding while making sure he eats and gets ready for bed… even the little hints at displeasure are quickly banished when he sees I understand. Now, if only I could do that all the time!

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9 Mrs. Marine November 20, 2009 at 7:54 pm

Can you teach me how to do that?

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10 Jendi November 20, 2009 at 8:04 pm

Good for you!
A night to remember.

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11 Cascia November 21, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Great job Mom! Doesn’t that feel good when your kids behave and cooperate?

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12 Jessica November 21, 2009 at 9:13 pm

:) Yay!! That sounds like a great evening!

Have the calm evenings continued?

Have you seen the Muffin Tin (Monday?!) that Her Cup Overflowth does? I haven’t participated in it yet, but basically you make a “themed” meal in a muffin tin once a week – it looks super cute and fun and I was just wondering if Sophia might find that fun.

I routinely feed my boys out of muffin tins and other tiny containers and they like that. :)

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13 Annie November 21, 2009 at 9:47 pm

Yay! I also find that the more patient I am, the better things go. But it is hard, especially when you are on your own with two kids (or more!) and trying to get things done at the same time.

I’m going to have to look into those yoga DVDs. I’ve been looking for a local mom and kids yoga class, but haven’t found one that is convenient for us.

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14 Kattia November 21, 2009 at 11:23 pm

Even the smallest miracles bring the biggest joys. one night will turn to 2 and eventually the shock will come when there is a meltdown.

hugs

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15 Lauren November 22, 2009 at 12:55 am

Can you come figure out tonight’s bedtime for me? :D

I love following your kids’ lead and also gently channeling them into happy activities. It’s lovely when it all just flows.

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16 Stephanie November 24, 2009 at 9:36 pm

I love those candid shots…and this authentic post!

I have to admit – I had kind of an “off” day today. I was less patient than I normally am and I hate it when I’m like that. I’m convinced that my children echo back the way I am feeling. The more happy, content, gentle, and interactive I am, the more behaved and joyful they are. Each and every day I remind myself of that – and I pray for the strength to be the mom that my girls need.

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17 Lynette December 3, 2009 at 11:41 am

It’s so wonderful when an evening works out peacefully like that. When my kids were that age, we’d try to go for a “no crying day.” Amazing how hard that was! It took years before we actually got there!
Here’s hoping for many more evenings like that in the holiday season.

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