Anyways, back to my point. I have discovered a coping mechanism to help me and my children make it out alive during these torturous moments. That mechanism? LAUGH!
Example #1: I am used to being totally embarrassed at church by little Miss Maia Belle. But, I don't usually laugh when she embarrasses me. Yesterday, I did...and it actually made me feel better. We were at church after making the rounds of picking up all the whiny hungry kids. We were getting ready to take the kids to the car when Maia pulled Noah's hair because he did not do something how she wanted or when she wanted him to do it (this type of abuse is common for Noah from his sister). But, this time, instead of whining about it and telling on her, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He turned and grabbed 2 healthy handfuls of her hair and yanked as hard as he could. I am sure that the passers-by were appalled by my reaction because, I turned around so that my children could not see my face and I burst out laughing...quietly of course. When I gained composure and went to talk to Noah about how his reaction was not acceptable and to Maia about why it was equally unacceptable for her to hurt her brother, Noah's determined, and unapologetic face amused me so much so that it took every ounce of my being to keep a straight face. Sometimes it feels like 70% of my day is spent breaking up fights and correcting my children and apparently I feel the need to laugh in order to not go crazy.
Example #2: After running errands with all three energy-filled children and going out to lunch. Ricky and I were eagerly anticipating getting home and getting the kids to bed. We had broken up countless fights, fed the baby wayyy too many snacks just to keep him quiet, and had used our stern voices so much that our throats hurt. So, once we got the kids in their seats and headed home. We were hoping for them to wind down and maybe even fall asleep in the car. Instead, our preschoolers decided to get in a yelling match in the backseat while Malakai screamed his little head off because the poor thing has to sit right in the middle of the two crazy kids. Ricky and I looked at each other as if to say, "It's your turn to yell at them." As soon as our eyes met, we began to laugh uncontrollably. We laughed and laughed and laughed until I thought my bladder would explode. The best part of the whole episode was that our kids all quieted down because they could not figure out what was so funny.
The moral of the story is...when you feel as though your kids might drive you to jump off a cliff, LAUGH!