Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Crafty Mama

When we are put into certain situations, it is human nature to adapt and find new skills and techniques.

It always amazes me the skills I have learned as a parent, and the way my thinking has had to change to get me through the difficult task.

Before becoming a parent, many of us are self-absorbed (some people never lose that) and only think about what affects them. After becoming a parent, I found, I had to be a bit more CRAFTY in my thinking and the ways I did things.

For example, my children have been difficult to get to sleep at bedtime. The amount of excuses I have used to be able to leave their rooms while they go to sleep is incredible. "Mummy is going to the toilet, but I'll be straight back" is a regular and I'm sure they think Mummy has some terrible trouble in the toilet because it takes so long. "Mummy has to put another load of washing in the machine" or "I'll just make myself a cup of tea". My children want to know where I am at all times, and would actually prefer to be able to see me, so trying to assure them they can go to sleep without me in the room has been a battle.

Then there are the usual tricky situations.

How do I clean the inside of my car, the car seat and my child who has just vomited when I have used the last McDonald's serviette? Having a child who is regularly car sick quickly taught us to be over-prepared for messy situations. A bag of towels was tucked under the seat in both cars and serviettes and wet wipes were stored in abundance. Then there is the compulsory bag of spare clothes with several changes in it. We have been on the side of the highway and had to wrap my daughter in my adult sized jacket to make it home.

Where can I hide the chocolate and how do I talk through a mouthful to my daughter without getting caught? There was a period where we took my daughter completely off chocolate. We found her attitude had become very nasty, but without chocolate she returned to the sweet loving cherub. I had my stash hidden in several places through the house (being an uncontrollable addict) and there were several times she would sneak come up behind me silently and catch me with a mouthful. "What are you eating Mummy?" "Um, my tongue" I would reply. Of course, she would would then want to see in my mouth. Have you ever noticed how well chocolate coats and sticks to your tongue?

There are even times when little children are very handy.

I once locked us out of the house. With my husband several hours up the road and not a spare key in sight, we finally were able to pop open a small, old window. My brother-in-law then lowered my three year old son down and onto the floor so he could run through the house and unlatch the door. Funnily enough, our alarm was not activated. Hmmm .... might have to do something about that.

Times when you are sick are particularly challenging. I have found that children are happy to jump into bed with you for a morning of movies, or if turned into a game, children love to wait on you, especially whilst wearing an apron and your slippers. Obviously, the mess that can occur around the house can be vast while you are not well, particularly when children get you a glass of milk, or discover things in the cupboard while they are looking for a treat to "make you feel better".

At the end of the day, children respond well to creativity, but it's not just entertaining the children where your brain and creativity come in handy. Even juggling a child, cooking dinner and answering the phone can be interesting. There haven't been many days in my parenting life where I have been bored or I could say it was uneventful.