Who could turn down an invitation to Jim Corbett?
My hubby agreed for the educational experience and me for the food! We had everything-2 couples and 4 children with the nashta, of course travelling in a single vehicle. Children take care of children, right? They play and talk and have fun amongst themselves and generally leave the adults to do what they know best- adult talk. That’s what I thought, at least.
Our stay was indeed memorable. And then came the part I dreaded the most… not the bill, but the trip back home- 250 kilometers of pure horror!
We left the resort in time, and my friend wanted to try her hand at driving. We readily agreed and all seemed well. Until we encountered a massive traffic jam. We had run out of our rations sooner than we had expected .
The children were hungry, exhausted and irritable. All of a sudden, the trip started moving towards “boring” and things slowly and steadily slipping out of hand. At one point, blows were being exchanged followed by wails and cries for help. Thank God it was kids and not the couples 🙂
We adults ran out of stories and poems and games to occupy the youngsters and were officially brain dead from the screaming and the yelling. No amount of instructions/warnings / bargaining/shouting could make the children stop. The poor mother, mortified at her children ‘s paggalpan, would keep issuing mandates from behind the wheel. To her credit, she kept at it till the end of the ride. I would have surely given up long before.
The youngest one, still on diapers decided to offload the delicacies she had gorged on just then and that created waves of paranoia amongst the children. Not to be outdone, the eldest terrorist decided to mimic a screaming banashe. And you guessed it right, the other three decided to follow at the top of their voices.
By then, my hubby had had enough. Having ridden the youngest one off her bio fueled diaper, he said –
“If I hear a single scream now………………pause…………. I will put this scented diaper on that child’s head!
And Lo, MAGIC!! The whole atmosphere transformed immediately! Children who were super cranky a minute earlier started giggling as if there is no tomorrow! The adults relaxed almost immediately- the pressure off. I highfived my husband (of course after sanitizing) and the jam cleared almost immediately!!
This is what psychologist Larry Cohen, PhD, the author of Playful Parenting calls a “playful parent.” You’ve broken the tension with silliness and formed a bond with your child – who might just be so amused (especially if you continue the game by declaring that the dirty diaper is making the rounds) that he forgets he didn’t want to still and wait to get home. Try some of these:
· When your child is throwing a super tantrum, shoot yourself with an invisible gun and pretend to fall dead. The more dramatic , the better. I faint-fall on the bed and don’t get up till I just can’t control my own laughter. My experience-children crack up like crazy!
· Your 3 year old has turned the room into a warzone with clothes strewn around and half eaten biscuits on the bed. Walk into the room and ask them to clean it — in a fake opera voice at the top of your lungs. Funny voices and using different characters are a great way to diffuse tension. Our family favourite is a typical south Indian accent!
· When your kid is just not ready to get dressed on a hectic Monday morning, race around the house at top speed, waving his pants or diaper, insisting he has to wear them while he’s squealing and giggling and saying no.
The choice is yours and always yours.
With love and compassion,