I have tools, somewhere…

Due to having too many things to do and too little desire to do them, I decided to attend to the long-overdue task of cleaning up my e-mail inbox today. I’ve always believed in the power of procrastination for getting all sorts of unimportant things done.

I found, buried deep, an article that one of my Mommy-Posse sent me on parenting styles, “Parenting nirvana: You can get there from here“. One line in it really struck me (as I re-read the article, buying another couple of minutes of perfectly justified procrastination) was this: that the best parenting is really just an application of creative thinking.

Yes!

That I can do!

I’m good at creative thinking – not so good at disciplining and setting boundaries – but creativity? Yup, that’s in my toolbox.

For example.

Did you know that you can entertain a feisty toddler for at least 20 minutes at a time (perhaps even several times in a day), by explaining how water goes down the drain and through the pipes in the house and down the stack and out to the sewer system – and then showing him where all the pipes are in the house? Course, this works better when you’ve been renovating your basement since before the baby was born, and there are missing pieces of wall and ceiling to help you with your explanation. This can then expand to explaining how the furnace works, and the air ducts, and the air conditioner… who knew that cold air returns were so fascinating?

Did you know that if you explain that everything sounds like music if you listen closely enough, you might get a toddler to stop stock still (and tell everyone to BE QUIET! at the top of his voice) and listen to the sounds of the house, or street, or car, at completely unexpected (and occasionally inopportune) moments?

Did you know that combining earth, peat moss and manure with a shovel in a wheelbarrow to make quality garden soil is like mixing the ingredients for baking a cake to cook in the sun? I sure didn’t, until I was told by a 2-year-old that that’s how it works.

Explaining that brooms are not to be used to sweep Momma’s shirt (especially while being worn, in preparation for going to work), and that in fact, brooms are best when used only on the floor – that, I’m not so successful at.

Time-outs are in fact now becoming an opportunity to practice dramatic flair. His wailing really does have a certain je-ne-sais-quoi to it. Really, it’s very impressive.

Too bad that my toddler appears to also be pretty good at creative thinking.

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