Something I’ve been trying out lately is counting to a hundred.
I do it when I’m impatient with my kids for no actual reason. So I’m not saying this is for when you actually have somewhere you need to be. I’m thinking of times when I’m taking my kid home from daycare and she stops to stare at a rock for a toddler amount of time, or when we’re trying to get to the playground but everybody has decided to be really invested in a stick right then. When we’re hoping to get out of the house, just to get out, and the little one decides to “help” the big one put his shoes on.
I have my big old Arbitrary Adult Agenda in my Head (let’s call it my AAAH, shall we, since that’s probably what I sound like if I decide to start shouting about it) that says we need to get going, we need to move, every moment of every day needs to be filled with something worthwhile and it ain’t a rock on the ground!
(But then I wish my kids wouldn’t act like if they’re bored for 8 seconds the world is going to end—but then I turn around and act the same way??)
So instead, I’ve started standing and taking a deep breath and silencing the AAAH and instead counting to 100 in my head — not out loud. I chose 100 because it’s actually not a number I end up reaching very often. The thing is, by the time I get somewhere in the 30s or 40s my own mind has usually wandered. Either I’m appreciating whatever it is my kid is appreciating…or I’m appreciating them for appreciating it…or I’m daydreaming and so I’m content to keep standing there for a few moments while they do whatever. Or, they’ve moved on and I didn’t need to snap at anybody to make it happen.