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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.
I’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.
We 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.
ps. You can watch one of my live action Mommy Confessions about dinner-time here.
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