The other day I tried a new recipe for dinner. It was a sell with Aaron, a half-hearted sell with Addison and Carter, and a no go with Eli. He kept shaking his little blonde head, chubby cheeks flapping with the intensity of his "NO" every time I tried to get him to take a bite. Like the good, non-bribing mother that I am, I told him, "If you don't eat your dinner, you aren't going to get a cookie." (A Costco Oreo sale means that my mothering really steps it up a notch for the duration of that box of cookies). He still vehemently was a NO.
Addison finished her dinner and got a cookie. Carter finished his dinner and got a cookie. Eli got down from the table and was staring forlornly at his siblings. He then pointed to the cookies and started yelling. My response was to hold his dinner (wrapped in a soft burrito shell) in front of his mouth and said "If you eat some of this, THEN you can have a cookie."
He was not a fan of my response. He went over to the corner of the Dining Room and pitched a full blown fit. It was super dramatic. First, he fell to his knees, hands waving in the air while screaming of the INJUSTICE of this moment. Then he stood back up and stomped on the floor, GLARING at me, and then SCREAMED some more. He pointed at the cookies. I held out the burrito. More screaming before he threw himself down onto the floor once more.
I had just given up hope that he would actually TRY the burrito in exchange for a cookie, when he did it.
Standing on the far side of the Dining Room, suddenly he stopped screaming. He took a deep breath, clenched his fists at his sides, tightly squeezed his eyes shut, and opened his mouth wide. Once this position was assumed, he ran as fast as his fat little legs would let him all the way across the room, running his open mouth right around the burrito. He then clamped his mouth around the burrito, did a dog growling/head shake thing, and bit off half of it into his mouth and decisively chewed and gulped it down, only then opening his eyes to display a wounded "the things a boy has to do around here for a cookie" look.
I laughed and laughed and laughed. His response just caught me so off guard. Running into the burrito with an open mouth? Kind of genius, if you ask me. (-; It was so determined...so "I WILL do this!"
But then I stopped laughing. It reminded me of earlier in the day when I passed by the pile of ten loads of laundry waiting to be folded, mentally pitching that same fit in my mind. (Now that I think of it, maybe if I had actually thrown myself on the floor screaming in front of the unfolded laundry...maybe that would have been more fun?) And then I clenched my hands, squeezed my eyes shut, opened my mouth, and "ran right into the burrito" and BAM the couch was cleared of clothes and all drawers were full of clean things to wear. Got it done!
"Ripping off the bandaid"...if you will (and if you can deal with a terribly mixed metaphor). This has been my new housekeeping philosophy of late. Why pitch a fit, when if I JUST DO IT, it really doesn't take as long as I had imagined, and it really won't be that bad.
There are things in life that all of us don't want to do, but we have to do them anyway. (If I have said this one time to Carter Henry in response to his "But I don't WANT to"...I have said it ten thousand...million times.)
Monday morning. It is ridiculous how hard it is to go from a 2 parent team back down to a 1 parent team every cruel first light of a Monday morning. Eyes squeezed shut...mouth open...RUN INTO THE BURRITO and get the transition pains over with FAST.
A sink full of dishes that looks like a MOUNTAIN but in reality will disappear quickly with concentrated effort. (Can we do it? YES WE CAN!)
Returning phone calls. I hate to talk on the phone. HATE IT. Returning phone calls fells a bit like the dreaded burrito "bite for a cookie" to me.
Getting all the kids dressed AT ONCE to go out. It seems like SO MUCH. But if I just take that bite with a growl...it really isn't that bad.
Laundry. Yes, I know I already said this once. It needed to be repeated.
House pick up. Just one thing at a time...it can go from disaster to quite neat rather quickly if I pick up that first item and just START. But the starting of it...SO HARD.
So yeah...a determined baby running into the burrito with a wide open mouth= housekeeping inspiration that should last me at least one week. Thanks, Eli. (-;
Now if you will excuse me, I need to deal with Monday AND laundry at the same time. The real question is...where's my cookie?