When you go on regular walks or hikes and have three kids but only two hands, you have to lay down some ground rules.
Ask my kids what’s Rule #1 of hiking and they will all chime together, “LISTEN TO YOUR MAMA!”
Ask what Rule #2 is and they’ll all say, “Always stay on the trail!”
Rules 3-8ish get a little jumbled after that…don’t yank up plants or throw rocks at your sisters or lick mushrooms and that sort of thing…
I find the longer I’m a mama the more I realize just how rotten kids are…and how rotten I probably was as well. (**who me? Never!**) Bennett, our 3 year old, just LIVES to aggravate her sisters (and often her parents). Nothing, and I mean not ice cream or slides or her crocodiles, brings her more joy than seeing her sisters get upset. We’re hoping it passes, but it’s just a gas to deal with until then!
So tonight while trying to get them ready for bed, after about the 9th time I’ve asked Bennett to put on the pajama shirt she’s been slinging around her head like a cowboy throwing a lasso, she delightfully looked at me and shouted, “RULE NUMBER ONE! DON’T AGGRAVATE YOUR MAMA!”
Oh man. That’s how the baby gets you–humor. “Don’t smile DO NOT SMILE” I think.
“RULE NUMBER TWO!” She continued in a drill sergeant voice…still circling the pajama around her head, “DON’T PLAY WITH THE TOYS THAN ARE NOT YOURS!”
Well, even if she’s not practicing the rules at least she knows them!
**We did finally get her to bed after warnings followed by consequences that were completely shocking (despite the warnings). The tears melted away during a hug and she sighed happily, content with my rising blood pressure, turned over, and went to sleep.**