With Brant sleeping contently in my baby wrap against my chest, my sisters and I were enjoying the warm sunshine and visiting while walking along Lynx Creek. The kids alternated between splashing in the creek and running ahead of us on the trail, having a grand time calling to each other about the treasures they found.
When it came time to leave, Aubrey was, of course, reluctant to leave the water and was working up a crying fit, ready to throw herself on the ground if she had to.
So I said "Aubrey it's time to go. Do you want to hold my hand or Tasha's hand on the way back to the van?"
She decided she would hold Tasha's hand and came along quite willingly.
"You see," I told my sister "the trick to dealing with toddlers is to give them a choice. They feel more in control of the situation and are more likely to cooperate if they have an option."
Aubrey was skipping along, the creek and her stones forgotten.
"I'm slowly learning all the parenting methods when it comes to toddlers," I said.
"Yeah, you'll have it all figured out by the time you have you're tenth one!" laughed sis.
"Well by then, I'm going to have to figure out a whole different ball game - teenagers!" I said.
As we were talking, we came upon a young man baiting his small son's fishing pole. I noticed them and continued to explain to Tasha,
"Well by the time I'm on only my ninth one, these three will all be teenagers"
A man's voice, sounding quite shocked, said "Ninth?!?"
I froze in midstep and sentence for a millisecond. Oh my gosh, I thought, he heard us! He is going to think I'm a lunatic. Do I laugh it off and say I'm just kidding? Do I say yeah, unfortunaltely I'll probably have nine, don't you feel sorry for me? Or do I act like its something every mother out there wants and have a positive comeback?
The beautiful day had affected my mood. I chose honesty and the latter. "I hope to have that many," I said in an upbeat tone.
To my astonishment and delight, the man grinned, then laughed.
"That's awesome!" he said. "Good luck!"
"Thank you" I replied with a pleased smile.
All this time I don't think we stopped walking, and we all laughed our way back to the parking lot. There was a lightness in my step after our short exchange and I am eternally thankful that the nameless man had the good grace to tell me good luck instead of scoff.
|Spring of 2008|