It's been a WEEK. [Do you know the kind I'm talking about?]
Whenever I have the kind of week that is full of no's and tantrums and too much whining (Yes, all of those things happen in our house. We're not perfect - in case you were tempted to think so.), I always look at ME first. Yes - ME.
I know this to be true: If I am grumpy or impatient or lacking energy or full of "just-a-minutes" and "not right nows" and "maybe laters," then my kids mimic my attitude. Every time. So if my kids start acting uncharacteristically unpleasant, I try to react w/ a hefty dose of attention, love, and spontaneity. It's a wonderful cure.
This afternoon, I decided not to check my e-mail or send out business pitches or tweet (not that there's anything wrong with those things, by the way...). Instead, I sat out on the back porch swing with my girls and we watched the clouds and sang, "I hope it rains! I hope it rains! Doo! Do! Doo!" And then it rained - it sprinkled - it POURED.
We ran out in front and dashed back-and-forth to and from the safety of the garage (until we were drenched and our curls were extra curly). When the streets were full and flooding, my 3-year-old said, "Can I go out there?" At first, I was going to say, "Our shoes will get soaked. There are too many cars. Etc." But then, I said, "Yes." And I went too! We jumped and laughed and kicked up puddles.
Afterwards, I made smoothies. For dinner. At bedtime, we got under the covers and I read 3 (THREE!) chapters of Ramona the Pest out loud to the girls. And they both listened in captive silence. We stayed up a little later than normal.
And you know what? Today was a really good day.
Does it rain in the summer where you are? Also - Do you read chapter books aloud to your kids? If so, which ones do you recommend for preschoolers? (And - P.S. - three is a wonderful age to start this...my 3-year-old kept wanting me to read "the next chapter!")