When Adam was three, he was prone to very loud, very long, very intense temper tantrums. It was a constant battle. One summer day, when he was throwing a royal fit in the living room, I’d simply had enough. I picked the boy up, hauled him into the backyard, turned on the hose, and…yep…I sprayed him down.
Needless to say, the tantrum stopped. And remarkably, that was a turning point in his ability to keep his temper under control.
I tell you this story a) in case you thought I was always a kind and patient mother, b) because I’m thinking that the statute of limitations is up and you can’t report me, and c) because it illustrates a helpful mothering tool I’ve learned over the years: water fixes everything.
Okay, maybe not everything, but it fixes a lot. Especially when your children are very young. Tempers around our house seem to flare a little more easily when the weather is warm, and here are some water-related tension breakers that really work for me:
- playing in the hose and/or sprinkler
- gargling contests
- spitting contests (we’re terribly refined around here, as you can tell)
- "painting" the fence with water
- washing the car
- sending the older kids upstairs for a cool shower
- bubble baths (this is how I read my Newsweek each week–with Corrie happily playing in the bubbles while I sit in the floor next to her. It goes without saying, of course, that you should never leave a young child unattended in the bathtub.)
- "play cooking" with the hose and all my cookware in the backyard
Works for me!
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