Most days, we all just muddle through doing the best we can to keep everything running smoothly. There are a few times when we are feeling Large and In Charge, those wonderful occasions where we are so on top of things that we can pack the picnic, orchestrate the nature walk and remember to bring paper and peeled crayons so you can all make leaf-rubbings along the way. There are also moments when we're privately tempted to just toss the kids a bag of Oreos and the DVD remote and go back to bed.
Then there are Do-Over Days.
There were times, especially when my kids were very small, when things would be going so badly – tempers were shot, milk was spilt, tantrums were thrown and tears were shed – that I would declare a Do-Over.
I'd tell the kids that we were going to start the day over and send them to their rooms – not for punishment, but so that they could come out again to a fresh beginning. When I saw each little face I'd greet it, “Good morning, Sunshine!” (even if it was 5 p.m.). I am The Mom, and one of my super powers is the ability to hit Control – Alt – Delete on a whole day!
By the time you reach Do-Over status, you've probably given up on getting anything productive accomplished – and that's okay. Some days it doesn't matter very much if the laundry gets folded, the chores get done or the assignments get finished on time. Some days, all that matters is maintaining the bonds between parents and children. Get out of the house for a while, if you can – a change of venue is wonderfully refreshing, even if it's just a trip down to the mailbox. Walk at their speed and take the time to examine ladybugs or the gargoyles on the buildings. Snuggle up on the couch with a pile of storybooks or put on some music and dance.
Just BE, together.
This works just as well when your kids are older – and you can even use it on yourself. Sometimes we don't need a time out as much as we need some time off . . . and it's okay to take it!
Of course, some times I would declare it to be Backwards Day instead of Do-Over Day . . . but that's another story entirely.