Smiles are contagious. Bickering and grouchiness are too. The girls’ arguing was a never-ending stream of “she called me stupid!” and “shut up!”, only to be interrupted with crying and pouting.
The constant snapping and shouting trickled down- or up, I should say- through the family. Conner yelled. Kevin snapped. I wanted a glass of wine.
I told the girls to get in the car. They had no idea where we were going, not that they noticed as they continued the circle of insults and hurt feelings.
I had no doubts that a plethora of parenting books, blogs and experts held the key to how I should have handled the situation. However, sometimes people can get caught in a temporary- and sometimes not so temporary- gray fog that even Dr. Phil couldn’t shine a beacon light on to guide them out.
As we left our gated community, I still didn’t know where we were going. I only knew that I needed to give Conner and Dad some peace and quiet. Five minutes later found me at Freddy’s Burgers drive-thru ordering ice cream sundaes. The girls looked confused.
Another five minutes found us in a nearby tranquil park eating ice cream, rolling down hills and playing.
Before anyone sends out any “bad mom” comments about my “negative reinforcement”, know this- it worked. Some might say I was rewarding bad behavior.
I might say that sometimes we just need a break.