How does a mother (one who is recovering from a recent surgery) keep two energetic nearly four year old twin boys engaged on a hot day when she is on her own with them, with one hand tied up in a sling? The nanny we hired to help me out for the summer failed us miserably and we had to fire her (long story). So, I was on my own with the boys all of this week. Yesterday was particularly challenging because it was a hot day. Taking them to a pool or a beach by myself seemed a bit daunting. So, we set up our own car wash/science lab on our driveway. I brought out some water beads and paint balls for extra fun, gave them scrubbing brushes, plastic ladles and spray bottles, had them change into their bathing suits and gave them turns with the garden hose. I changed into a bathing suit also and played paint balls with them for a bit. Then, I sat in the shade with a book, watching them and helping them resolve their conflicts. They helped me with the set up and also the clean up afterwards. There were some crazy moments here and there (a preschooler with a garden hose could get crazy) but overall everybody had a good time. They were exhausted and went down easily for their afternoon naps which gave me some quiet time.
We did not start our day this way though. We started our day with several meltdowns and power struggles all around because I was not in the right frame of mind. A self imposed quiet break for just a few mins helped me realize that I really need to put my anxiety about whether or not I will be able to take care of them on my own with my hand in a sling, on the shelf and take things as they come. Once I became mindful of my own role in the power struggles and the negative energy that I am spreading around because of my own anxiety, I was able to give my full attention to the problems that came up as they came up and resolve them to the best of my abilities without indulging in controlling behaviors. Besides, my boys are being very compassionate and respectful of the fact that their mom is still recovering, so after a few deep breaths and a little pep talk I realized that I don’t have much to be anxious about to begin with. Ultimately, I can never spend enough time with my kids ❤️