Mama Needs A Do-Over

Day 1 of 7 • This day’s reading



I remember vividly one day after getting home from an outing that went a little wilder than usual. For some reason I never understood, the kids were more energetic than their normal state of too much energy, which is saying a lot. And while you want your kids to get along, you don’t want them conspiring against you and hyping each other up. This day, that is exactly what happened. One would start to cause trouble, and just as I turned to deal with it another one would dash off behind me and create a new mess. I felt like I was trying to round up a cageful of monkeys… without a cage!

That’s when I got the idea. If they were going to act like wild animals, then I would take advantage of that. “Stop!” I said firmly. “Everybody freeze!” I froze in my place in a contorted position. They weren’t sure what to do, but the older ones stood completely still and the little ones got quiet. “Okay, here’s what we are gonna do,” I called out. “This is a zoo. And you are the monkeys. Ready. Set. Go!” I began to whoop around the kitchen like a baboon on caffeine. I did my best monkey sounds and ape walk, scratching myself under my arms, swaying back and forth while dragging my feet.

The kids were shocked. Stunned to the point of freezing right where they stood. Next I called out another animal—“Let’s be lions!”—and I went into lion mode. They started to join in the game. I called out their names one at a time followed by an animal: “You are a snake!” and “You be a duck!” (I didn’t worry that these animals would never be together in one place for real.) The kids and I spent the next five minutes playing “zoo,” and I ended it with them being sharks having a feeding frenzy on the table (Goldfish, of course! What else would sharks eat?).

I had officially made my own reset. I pushed the button and changed what was happening. I didn’t yell or get frustrated or wish my life was different. I just deflected their energy and gave us all a fresh new start. Plus, I thought it was fun too!