What to do when things go sideways

Some mornings are just more challenging than others.  This morning was about as difficult as most, and this morning’s big fight came when WonderBoy was ticked off at me for not letting him lick the end of the toothpaste tube.  You know, the end where the toothpaste comes out and there’s always a little bit sticking out.

His response was to close the bathroom door and angrily unroll an entire roll of toilet paper.  The brand new roll.  What I imagine happened next was that he flung the toothpaste off his brush and onto the counter.  I don’t actually know, but the paste was on the counter and his toothbrush was in the sink.

I then had about 5 seconds to come up with the logical consequence.  In cases like this, it’s not hard- clean up the mess is the only logical way to go.  But our brains don’t always work like that.  As adults, we think about how we literally just bought that toilet paper and the toothpaste, and our brains flash with the thoughts of how hard we have to work to earn the money to pay for said items. But the thing is, kids don’t get that.

I stuffed the words I wanted to say back into my mouth, and asked him to clean it up.  He was…less than amenable to that decision.  But one thing I do know about him is that if I wait a few moments, he’ll come around.

Logical consequences are hard when your brain doesn’t always want to cooperate with you.  But they do serve as important moments for the kiddos, because they go a lot farther than things like “no tv for you!”

Now, with 20 teeth brushed (make that 40, with Speedy having also brushed), and the bathroom all cleaned up, there is some not-so-quiet imaginative play happening. Whew!

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