the boys

the boys

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Calm Is My Middle Name

When I am experiencing difficulty in various aspects of my life, I think the best thing to do it is sit back and reflect on what I could be doing better.  I did that today.  I spent some good time reflecting and playing back different situations and how I handled them.  And what I decided is that none of it is my fault.  I am completely without fault.  So there! 

In an attempt, albeit a weak one, I will try to be be strength based about these challenges.  Each challenge has presented yet another opportunity for me to hone my skills. I am working hard at remaining calm, thinking on my feet, and modeling responsible reactions/responses.  I'm pretty good at thinking on my feet and talking my way into or out of things.  I've got the silver-tongued gift on most days.  Other days....not so much.  And on most occasions I am calm.  Calm is my middle name.  It's pretty hard to get me rattled (at least in front of people.)  I prefer to have my freak outs in private if at all possible.

I guess I can be thankful that the last 2 weeks have given me ample opportunities to practice being calm and thinking on my feet.  I've been fairly successful at it lately.  And boy, let me tell you there have been some situations where I could have slipped off the sanity track.   Some real doozies lately.  I would just love to shout the gosh awful truth right to people's face.  It would probably make me feel better.  No, it would DEFINITELY make me feel better, but that's not my role and it's not my style.  I don't get to be "that" person.  I get to be the responsible one.  The boss. The parent. The adult.  I signed up for these roles and I'm gonna stick with them however painful it might be.

If you don't believe me, I've got lots of examples.  Many of them can't be shared on this blog due to confidentiality, but I can give you a perfect example from today.  My boys had a meltdown while we were out running errands today.  I know this is a big shocker to those that follow the blog, but I didn't do anything wrong this time.  I fed them before we left.  Everyone had been potty.  Everyone slept through the night.  Everyone was their sunshiny selves when we left.  Maybe it's just shopping in general.  It's not my favorite thing to do either, despite what my husband believes, but I don't always have a choice. 

I'll cut to the chase.  Both boys through a little fit at JC Penney's.  The sass was flying around.  We got into the car and I announced calmly that plans had changed.  We were no longer going to our next destination.  New plan:  HOME.  Well, this didn't sit well with Justin who proceeded to sass and kick the back of the passenger seat.  So I followed my little plan.

I remained calm.  I calmly reminded Justin that the last time he behaved this way in the car on Christmas night he ended up losing his Leapster for one week.  (I wasn't so calm Christmas night and things didn't go well. If I expected calm, I better be calm!) 

Then I pulled out the biggest trick I had available to me in my parenting bag.  I told Justin that if he didn't choose to start being calm and nice soon that I would call a babysitter to stay with him while the rest of us went to the Harlem Globetrotters tonight.  That was quick thinking for sure!  It was a risky move on my part.  I'm a big proponent of only threatening actions that I can follow through on.  This one was a gamble.  But we did have about 6 hours to rectify the situation and at least 2 of those should involve a nap.  I was willing to gamble.

He continued his ranting and sassing.  So I calmly grabbed the cell phone and made a fake call to the babysitter. I had me a nice little fake chat with the babysitter and explained our little predicament.  I told fake babysitter that I was so sad Justin wouldn't be able to go with us because he was so excited about the Globetrotters.  I also told her that I would be happy to call her back if he decided to start being nice between now and the time we left.

It was immediately calm and quite in the backseat.  A mere 5 minutes later I got a super nice and sincere apology.  I, of course, then picked up the phone and make my little fake call back to the babysitter and excused her from her fake duties tonight.  I even threw in a little "We'll call you again sometime when the boys are being nice so you can come over on a night they are being happy." 

And don't think I won't be bringing this up tonight.  I'll be all "Hey, aren't you glad you decided to be good so you didn't have to miss this?"  Oh yeah, I can play it out until the cows come home!  I wish I could say every challenge these last two weeks has ended this successfully.  But alas, they have not.  I will keep giving it my best shot.  And so speaking of the cows coming home, this cow is going to go bake some chocolate chip cookies.  Four of them.  So there.  All's well that ends well.  (except my waistline is not appreciating the added stress lately!)

btw, do they sell alcohol at the Sprint Center during a childrens event?  Mama might need a cocktail to make it through tonight!!


  1. Grace Under Pressure is your middle name! I love that you fake-called the sitter :)

  2. Thanks Lisa. It was really funny at the time. He was SO believing it. I can't wait to read him some of these blogs some day!!