Friday, March 23, 2012

More Ideals and Reality

(I hate it when I discover I've already used a post title.)

This week has been a long, slow slog of recovery. The kids are doing much better, but the house and I take longer. Especially since recovering kids make for a messy house.

Yesterday Duchess and Deux had spent much of the day cutting apart magazines in the living room. I probably shouldn't allow this in the living room, but there isn't really anywhere else except the kitchen table, which is usually otherwise in use. By late afternoon, the living room was ankle-deep in paper and I was beginning to feel frantic.

One of those cardinal rules of parenting is supposed to be that Children Clean Up Their Own Messes. And usually they do. But this mess was so big, and so deep, and so tall, and I was already so cranky, and they were already so wired, that I knew if I went in and made them clean it up, I would start yelling and we would all be at each other's throats.

So I offered them a choice: Clean it all up, or go outside and play. After a bit of deliberation (quite a bit on Dot's part, who hates being cold), they all opted to go outside and play. They went outside and burned energy. I stayed inside and cleaned in quiet. When they came in, somewhat calmer than they had been, I felt able to tolerate their presence enough to let them help me make pizza.

It wasn't ideal. But it was good.

1 comment:

the Joneses said...

It's nearly impossible to reach "ideal." But "good" is within reach, and usually that's what we need.

-- SJ