I remember breaking stuff when I was a kid. My mom has this gaspy reaction to stuff breaking (or to being woken up in the middle of the night!) that’s almost more terrifying than the original issue. So my history of breaking stuff was quite memorable, and I decided to try to be chill when the kids have accidents in that context.
I tend to overreact to pretty much everything. (David and family, shut up.) So when Tess was playing with glass jars on the counter, and dropped one after we told her to stop it, I took a deep breath and reminded myself that the sound of glass exploding all over the kitchen had her freaked out enough. Dave told everyone to freeze. Griff was sobbing. We put Lilou in the playpen, safe, and I talked to her while calming her little brother down. We – mistakenly, it turns out – figured Tess and Remy could follow the “freeze!” instruction at this point. Wrong. Dave had shoes on, so started checking them for any scratches or glass chunks in their clothes. Tess was sobbing from the shock and knowing she did something naughty. (We’ve learned she hates to be unintentionally naughty. Apparently, once she’s chosen to suffer the consequences, she’s defiant in her choices. When it catches her off guard, she collapses in a puddle of true misery. We don’t even really punish her at that point. She punishes herself with anguish.)
While Dave was talking her down and sweeping for shrapnel, Remy lost all self control. He leapt off the stool and ran wailing right through the glass mine field. Dave and I were pissed and petrified! Remy’s not great in a crisis. Did I mention this was just as we were about to get dinner in the oven? Everyone was hungry, and I was trying not to lose it over the idea of potentially having to chuck dinner. (False alarm.)
No one bled! And dinner was delicious and shard free. Eventually, we had an excellent discussion about following directions to stay safe. But man! That was a doozy.
So our calm, happy Saturday night in turned into a lovely lesson in parenting four. For future reference, always start with the weakest link – not the youngest. Remy cracks under pressure every time, where Lilou and Griffin cry but get over it. Tess tends to freeze in panic. Still works.
We ended up having a great meal, followed by an easy bedtime. Sunday has been dreamy – building stuff and watching crazy waves. And onto another week of fun!