I never wanted to be one of those parents who had to buy three of everything so that each of my children would have all the same stuff. “They need to learn to share!” I figured. “Realizing life isn’t the same for everyone will be character building!” I thought.
Of course, that was before my kids were old enough to fight. It’s easy to say the things you’d “never do” before you’ve actually lived through a situation. Like, back before I had kids and I’d say stuff like, “I’ll never take my kids to McDonalds.”
*pauses so I can stop laughing*
I’ll be honest. I STILL don’t want to be the “buy three of everything” mom. But. THE FIGHTING IS DRIVING ME CRAZY AND I MIGHT HAVE TO HOP A PLANE TO CANADA BY MYSELF FOREVER OR JUST HOOK UP AN I.V. OF WINE.
We have this thing called the Aquadoodle.
It’s basically a mat with some sort of white fabric sewn over colored fabric. You use this special pen that you fill with water, or a brush you dip into water, to color on it. The water–like water does–makes the white fabric see-through and the color shows from underneath. Like mess-free painting. Or something.
We gave this to my 2-year-old daughter as a birthday gift. It’s pretty cool. But we only have the one. And we only have 2 coloring utensils for it.
So this morning my kids were all gathered around the Aquadoodle and it was all sweet and wonderful and like the example of happy parenting: LOOK! This family is enjoying their time together! And you can, too!
Yeah. Take a picture of that crap because you know it only lasted about 5 1/2 seconds before sharing the brushes and taking turns turned into a cage match. To. The. Death.
So, being the “creative mom” I am, I went on the hunt for other kinds of brushes. I figured if I gave them a few choices each, there’d be no fighting.
*pauses to wait while YOU stop laughing*
I found toothbrushes, and basting brushes, and q-tips, and basically anything that would spread water across the Aquadoodle. Heck. They could have even used their fingers after dipping them in water. But once I brought out the choices, it did NOT turn into a situation of pleasant abundance. It turned into The Brawl for the Orange Toothbrush.
I really just couldn’t win. It made me wish for three Aquadoodles.
So I took a breath and thought, “This is the Universe telling me I should have just stuck to my guns and made them take turns to begin with.” I did a few rounds of, “Now you get the brush. Good. Good. Now pass it to your sister. YAY! Good sharing!!”
And after less than 2 minutes they were over the Aquadoodling and onto other things and I wanted to crawl back into bed but it was only 9am.
This parenting thing is exhausting. Huh?