.. take them on a date.
Margot is a carbon copy of me, emotionally. That means when I am struggling, putting the two of us together for any stretch of time will result in a load of bad attitudes, time outs, deep sighs and gritted teeth. Today was the worst so far this week. So when Stephen came home I asked him if he would mind if I took Margot out for awhile. He agreed and I packed a bag and we headed out to the art museum to go for a walk around the sculpture park. So getting one away from the pack normally results in a much calmer child who listens better and may even hug you numerous times and tell you that you are best mommy in the whole world. Other times having one girl on her own is just having that girl on her own. The attitude that was so trying at home will be just as trying in the car on the way to "someplace special". Believe it or not this was exactly what I was hoping for today. And I got it. She was the same Margot while we walked around the sculpture park at the art museum that she was fussing at Ada in the living room. Being in the fresh air meant that I had more patience with my girl and being on our own meant that I could hold her without interruption while I explained what it means to have a grateful heart. I told myself I wouldn't even bring it up unless she started whining .. I just wanted to take her out for some one on one time with no expectations and no hidden motives. No lectures or bribes. We hiked across the grass instead of staying on the trail. We walked to the top of the highest grassy hill and laughed about how far we had come. We played tag. I carried her piggyback all the way back to the car, and I enjoyed every step.. didn't even feel tired when we got there (is she just tiny or am I actually in pretty good shape right now?) After our walk we went to "Chickalay" for dinner and I didn't hound her about getting up from the table 400 times or not eating her chicken fast enough. She was waving at everyone from our table on the balcony, keeping track of how many people said hello back to her. God, that kid is cute. Then we went to the Y and went swimming together. The struggles we had today were some of the same struggles we had on our evening out. It was just so nice to be able to struggle together as mother and daughter and not as hen and brood.