A couple weeks ago we had a playdate with some friends. As five of our kids ran back and forth between two bedrooms and got busy pulling every toy in the house into the play room, my two friends and I sat and chatted.
After a while – in the middle of a conversation – my three-year-old Annalyn interrupted, demanding my attention and then requiring my direction. When she didn’t obey right away, I snapped at her and sent her to sit on the steps for a time out.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed her inching up the stairs while staring me down with all the attitude a three-going-on-thirteen-year-old can manage. “Get down here right now!” I hollered.
Not once did I get up off the couch and go to her. Not until it was time to pull her into a bedroom and have a talk about her misbehavior.
As I sat back down and resumed my conversation with my friends, I wasn’t embarrassed that they’d seen my child act up. And I wasn’t worried about their reaction to my talk with her. But I did realize that the whole problem could have been avoided if I’d just gotten off the couch.
I’ve read all the articles. I know the benefit of getting on her level and talking in a firm but gentle voice. But here’s the thing: I’m lazy.
Left to my own devices, instincts and general nature, I will sit on the couch for hours on end. Day after day. For-ev-er. And not only is that bad for my desire to fit into my jeans, but it’s also bad for my desire to be a good mom.