Pairing off the bigs and littles

One of our favorite cheats in parenting is to give the bigs a job they love to keep them from shenanigans. They LOVE taking care of the littles. So Sunday, Dave had an alone adventure at the grocery store and I took the kids. We started with whining, everyone wanting the same toy, etc. so we reviewed: who gets the toy when everyone wants it? They all know; I do. Every time.

Suddenly the whining and infighting lightened up. Next thing I know, Lilou and Griff are cracking up over the doll house while Tess and Remy play house with the magnet blocks. So far, so good. At some point, Remy decided to help Griff off the table – safely. And he just ran around kissing everyone.

Our good moments are ridiculously, outlandishly great. The bad ones are equally miserable. So when the good ones happen, we do everything to maintain them. This morning, that meant a trip to the park in the sunshine.

I could have put the littles in the stroller, but I wanted to see if we could do it “big kid” style. So the bigs got socks and shoes for the littles. We got everyone bundled up, and set off – buddy system. We set off, with Remy giggling with Griff and the girls racing to the corner. Everyone stopped so we could cross the street together.

They goofed off together and with other kids at the park for hours in the sunshine – pushing each other on swings, copying each other, helping each other climb. Remy chased them, playing monster.

In moments like that, I get distracted with how to inspire that behavior all the time. Although the longer I’m a parent, the better I’m getting at enjoying the moment. Cheesy, I know, but I can’t keep them young, teach them everything at once, or expect perfection.


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