Wednesday, July 14, 2010

On days like that…

Ever had one of those days when your kiddos lose their minds and seem to forget everything you ever taught them? 

You know the days I’m talking about.  The baby is playing in the potty, while the little one is pulling out every single piece of clothing from the dresser.  Meanwhile, the older ones are arguing over something in another room.  By the time you wash the baby’s hands (three times, yuck!), put the clothes away and break up the arguing, you find the little ones in the kitchen taking all the cookbooks off the shelves and hear the older ones jumping on the bed!  Of course, it usually happens when you are trying to finish some project, make dinner, or get somewhere on time. 

It usually happens when we are recovering from a late night or a very busy day.  It happens when we have missed nap time or we are late getting a meal on the table.  Sometimes, it happens for no apparent reason.  Nevertheless, it happens.

Yeah.  You know just what I’m talking about, don’t you?  Please tell me that it’s not just me…

So, what’s a momma to do?  The first impulse I have is to yell, scream, cry, throw things and run out the front door.  I’m a grown-up now, though.  I must at least try to act like one.  So, here are a few ideas to add to your “bag of tricks.”  Hope you’ll read them and then add a few ideas of your own for taming the wild beasties.

1.  Drop whatever you are doing.  Turn the stove burners off, put the project on hold, call whoever is expecting you and tell them you will be late.  This isn’t always practical, but even a 5 minute break can help.  Sometimes the kids just need me more than the work needs me, and that’s fine.

2.  Do something absolutely silly and uncalled for. 

  • Turn up the music as loud as it can go and dance with your kiddos. 
  • Get the kids pretending to be different animals.
  • Go outside and jump around like crazy.
  • Go climb into your bed with the kids and use the sheet like a parachute.
  • Fill the bathtub with bubble bath and pile the kids in for a good soak and playtime.
  • Grab some veggies, raisins, marshmallows, etc. from the cabinets and let the kids use them (along with some toothpicks for the older kids) to make all sorts of strange creatures.
  • Start dishing out some ice cream cones.
  • Sing into a box fan and listen to your strange sounding voices.
  • Build a crazy-big fort in the living room.
  • Make silly faces at each other.
  • Blow up some balloons.
  • Blow bubbles in the kitchen.
  • Let the kids help scrub the floor after you blow bubbles, messy fun!
  • Paint the picnic table with shaving cream.
  • Get wet playing in the hose while you clean off the above mentioned shaving cream.
  • Don’t blame me if your picnic table is never the same…
  • Go on a bug hunt.
  • Go on a (pretend) bear hunt.  Or moose, deer, alien, dinosaur, zebra, etc…

2.  Do something relaxing.

  • Take turns brushing each other’s hair.
  • Take turns giving back rubs.
  • Listen to some soothing music in a dark room.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Play a board game.
  • Sing bedtime songs together in middle of the day.
  • Take a drive in the country.  Bring along some relaxing music.

3.  Do something productive.

  • Break out the coloring books and sit down with the kids.  Be sure you color a picture too, or at least help one of the little ones to color.
  • Drag out that lovely Play Doh.  Help the kids make a giant pizza, a horse, a mountain, bugs, etc.
  • Make cookies and let the kids decorate them.
  • Put the kids to work on some fun, but needed project.  I bet your deck needs to be cleaned up.  A few old sponges and a bucket of water and you’re in business.
  • Ask for help with dinner.  One kiddo can set the table while another helps by getting napkins and another is helping stir the food.

So, what do you do when the kids are out of sorts?  Hope you’ll add to the list by leaving a comment.  I need all the help I can get.  Besides, my kids know all of my tricks already.  ;)


  1. Nope it's not just you :)! #1 is most successful around here, although as you pointed out not always the most practical, it almost always works. Play-dough, chalk, water color painting, water play on the deck (my cheap version of a water table or "painting" the deck with Q-tips and hand/foot prints), playing downstairs, coloring and stickers are some of my tricks. Sometimes 5-10 minutes of these things with me can get them interested enough to play for long enough for me to finish dinner or that project!

  2. We seem to have those days a lot lately. #1 seems to work best here too, but sometimes that's not possible. We have some toys that I have put away that I try to pull out when I need to distract them. Art stuff works well for Audrey, but not so much for Harrison.


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