Right now, sitting here thinking of what to share this week, I note a definite absence of a certain four-legged creature, our dog Tootsie. And as any parent can attest, when it’s too quiet, when a child is out of sight and out of sound, something might be up.
It isn’t any too different with Tootsie than it was with our children or is with any child.
And so I stop what I’m doing and go and check. I was right. There she was, caught in the act- a sock in her mouth, another sock and a pair of underwear strewn around her.
I know immediately that I have left the gate to the laundry room open once again. And the temptation is too great for Tootsie – and she must enter, steal, and chew up.
And so I rant and rave a bit to get her to come and sit and drop – and she sheepishly does. But in all fairness, I should have closed the gate behind me. Because closing the gate to avoid such temptations for Tootsie, such disruption and annoyance for me – is a pretty simple thing to do. And I know it.
As parents, how often are we frustrated with our children’s behavior because of something that could have been avoided?
Stopping at the market when we know our child is exhausted and hungry, staying too long to visit with a friend, over-scheduling our days so there is little downtime, skipping naps, whatever is your own personal equivalent to “not closing the laundry room gate”.
As parents we don’t need to “beat ourselves up”over this. Because it happens – it just does. But it is revealing, isn’t it, that so often when our children are the most challenging, we forgot, took our chances, pushed the envelope a bit too far, and our children responded – like children.
Good food for thought – for change – on this glorious 1st day of Spring!