Friday, March 8, 2013

Next time try harder

It is a gorgeous here today.  The sun is out, the birds are singing, the sky is clear blue...and every speck of dirt and dust is in clear view!!  AAACCKK!!

So while I avoid housework and the laundry-palooza that has begun in my bedroom, I have to tell you about my latest tactic to try to get the girls in the car faster.

Do your kiddos struggle with getting in and out of the car or is it just mine?   I swear, we FINALLY get out of the house, climb into the van and STAND THERE.  THEN we like to FINALLY get in our seats and just SIT THERE.  Meanwhile, I run chronically late for everything and I turn into a mean mommy-tornado over my two pokey little puppies.  

It's really not the best way to start the day.

So we've started to race.  I wasn't really concerned with there being a winner or a loser...I just wanted them in their seats with their belts buckled.  However, THEY were concerned with a winner.

And quickly created an imaginary gold trophy.


At first, Rachel didn't care.  She would continue to poke along and dodge my requests to buckle up with a lack of eye contact.  Then she heard Elizabeth bragging about the gold trophy.

And it was game on for the 3-year-old.

Before I knew it, I had a sobbing oldest child in the backseat.

"What is wrong with you?"  I asked...we were still late so I was just slightly irritated.

"I loooooost!!"  she sobbed.  "I WANTED TO WIN!!  BUT I DIDN'T!  RACHEL WON!!"

I looked at Rachel, who was grinning at me, holding up her hands to show me her imaginary gold trophy.

It was just too much for me to stay irritated.  "Oh honey!!  Great job!!  I love your gold trophy!  And look how quick you got buckled!!  Elizabeth, you just have to get buckled quicker!"

*cue more sobbing*

So this went on for a couple days and Elizabeth kept creating new races to redeem herself.  To no avail, Rachel ran the floor with her. 

Rachel won the race to the front door of the Y.

She got up the stairs and into the house first.

And each time, Elizabeth turned into a dramatic puddle of tears, which she mopped up with her bottom lip.

"Tuck your lip in,"  I'd tell her every time.  "You need to stop talking and actually try."

See, that's what would happen.  She'd throw out the challenge and then get caught up showing me a butterfly or finding something on the ground while Rachel just stuck to the plan of the race. 

One night at dinner, Elizabeth was her usual, defeated self because Rachel had beat her setting the forks on the table...because she had stopped to play with a balloon...and yes, I AM a little worried about the learning curve with that one.  

Well Scott walked in and, after hearing what she was crying about, told her that if she tried her hardest then it really didn't matter if she won or lost and that if she didn't stop the moaning, she could go right up to bed since it sounded like she was too tired for dessert.

That dried them up.

So this morning, she set out on a new mission.  We were already late for preschool (shocker) so when I called them to go get in the car, they shot into the garage like little cannons.  

Impressed with their focus and speed, I held my breath while strapping Caleb in. 

"I won!!"  Elizabeth shouted as her seat belt clicked just seconds before Rachel's.  "I won, I won, I wo-on!!  Rachel, YOU didn't win.  YOU didn't get the gold trophy...I did!!"

Can you imagine how fast my head whipped around in the front seat?  Times that by two.

"Elizabeth!  That is NOT the way to be a good winner!  No one is going to want to play or race with you if you win like that.  The nice thing to do is to say, 'Woo-hoo!  I won!  Good job, Rachel!  You tried hard and did your best!"

She looked at me like I was speaking Spanish.

After taking that spectacular piece of sportsmanship wisdom in, my oldest looked at her sister and said,  "Yay!  I won!  Good job, Rachel.  But next time, try harder!"


I can't wait until Caleb gets into the mix...that should be loads of fun.  Have a great weekend!

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