It’s the fourth day of a visit expected to last about 2-3 weeks (with my daughter and her family staying with us as her husband works at his new job in Minneapolis and they wait for the move-in date for their new home up here). I am thrilled to have them with us and so glad that they are moving here from the Kansas City area, but it is a stress on everyone.
I was at home with the kids alone, my husband and daughter had gone to the store and my son-in-law was at work.
Since the kids arrived I have seen a steady increase in the kids’ pushing the limits—wanting to be entertained by playing games, going places, and engaging one of us in playing with them—all the time. They also seemed to be having shorter and shorter fuses with one another and with things that happened like losing a game, etc.
Since we have quite a few days of this visit remaining I was beginning to be tired of the constant ruckus. This morning I hit my limit. I was upstairs putting away some dishes in the kitchen when I heard the kids having a loud unhappy argument downstairs. When I went downstairs they both hurried over to tell me how unreasonable their sibling was being.
I asked for quiet and said, “I think it’s time for a timeout.” One of you can sit here on this sofa. The other can sit over here. You can have a book or something you want to do quietly by yourself but we are all going to have quiet time for awhile. I sat down with a book in a nearby chair. At first one or the other of them would snipe at the other but I reminded them that this was quiet time.
After a few minutes a feeling of calm filled the room. Both children were engaged in solitary quiet activities and I was enjoying quiet reading time. Occasionally we would exchange a few pleasant words with one another. But mostly we were quiet. Finally one of them said, “It’s so nice and quiet down here. It feels good to be sitting here in the quiet.”
After 20 minutes I said that quiet time was over and that they could play together again. Peaceful play and cooperation and continued quiet filled the house. The rest of the morning the peace continued.
Taking a timeout is something all of us need every so often...
When was the last time you took a timeout from your busy life?
May you walk in beauty.
(Update – 2 days later and the kids are mostly still more mellow and settled. I am reminded that another thing that kids need is boundaries. Once the boundaries are clear the testing ends. It’s taking me awhile to get my Granny legs. I am learning how to be any every-day Granny instead of a once-in-a-while visiting Granny. It’s fun!)
Note: Today’s photos from an outing to West Medicine Lake Park where the kids played on the playground equipment, their mom knitted, and I played with my camera. It was a timeout for doing what I loved while being with the kids some of the time, on my own some of the time.