This is my mommy tip of the day. Seriously. It is working for me. Every time my kids do something that makes me want to sigh deeply, hang my head, or reprimand, I stop and think if it is good photography material and then instead take a picture of the inconvenience and it makes me want to laugh about it more than scold.
Yesterday provided a perfect example. The boys were playing outside and I heard the outside faucet come on. At first I thought nothing of it because they like to fill buckets with water and give the flowers a drink, but the water seemed to stayed on for longer periods of time and it was followed by sounds from my boys, that to a mom, indicate trouble.
I hopped outside and there were Isaiah and Avery filling ice cream buckets with water and dirt from the front flower bed. I said, "Guuuyysss" in that typical mom whine when something frustrating is going on and they declare, "mom, we're making chocolate milk!" So I sighed, then grabbed the camera...
Is this incident really that much trouble in the large scheme of things? Nah - look it's just a couple of little buckets of yucky water and some dirty hands and feet. Big deal. Don't get mad, just take a picture of their innocent, sweet little faces.
Here is how I left them as I went back into the house. Just as content as can be mixing their own concoction in the bucket. Time to go see about supper, check on the other kids, and upload these photos - 'cause trouble = blog post fodder.
So after I checked on a few things and uploaded the above pictures I realized that these two boys were still outside. I had just sent Huston out after we had finished something else we were working on and I heard him say, "Mom isn't going to like that!" I know Isaiah defended his behavior to him in some fashion because his voice was audible, but I wasn't paying attention... because by that time I caught the sight of my children in the middle of a mud fight... using the mud from my front flower garden!! (you do realize that we are trying to sell this house and keep it beautiful and show worthy right?? 'cause I think my children, well I KNOW my children forgot this little detail.) Again I was about to fly off the handle, cause really they were disgusting, the flower bed was in shambles and did I mention that they were disgusting!?! But did I yell? I wanted to, but as I was about to fill my lungs with air (grab the camera) I remembered (grab the camera) that in the large scheme of things (grab the camera) this was not that huge of a deal and I... grabbed the camera!
You can just see the guilt all over the mud-ridden faces.
Next step after grabbing the camera was to grab the hose and I hosed them down right there on the front lawn. Then they were sent to the bathtub and finally they were sentenced to gardening work as soon as we can purchase a few more flowers and a few more bags of dirt to fix what was demolished.
Now the boys still got in trouble, and I still was angry at first. But I didn't blow my top because it's hard to take pictures while you're yelling (gotta keep that camera steady ya know...) and I also have great pictures of their guilty faces to haunt them and hold over them for many years to come! Win, win, win!
So moms, don't get mad! Just grab that camera! It's so much easier to laugh when it's on film.
***UPDATE*** I had told my mom part of the conversation I had with Isaiah after this incident and she told me that I had to put this on the blog as well so we will remember the true poignancy of the moment... I was telling Isaiah for about the thousandth time how we really need to try to take better care of things, especially since we are trying to sell the house, and not dig and mess and destroy what we have. I told him it's important to keep the flower bed and yard looking nice because that's the first impression that people will have of the house in general. As I was telling him this his face got longer and he began to cry in that pitiful type way that little kids do when they are attempting to manipulate the emotions of their parents. I asked him, "Isaiah, why are you crying?" and he answered... "I just never thought that you would love a house more than you would love me..." *sniff* *sniff* *pout* To which I answered... "Give me a break!" :0)