I have my kids practice deep breathing and it's amazingly transformative. I can't remember when I first started this, it was probably when Sam was around Vivi's age, old enough to be able to do a lot, but to also understand just how much there was that he still couldn't do. In other words, a time of extreme frustration and learning to control his emotions. It's kind of a lifelong challenge for most of us, isn't it?
Vivi seems to be entering this stage, needing a lot of calming, kissing of boo-boos, redirecting, and just holding. We made it to the table for dinner amidst a flurry of activity; energy and enthusiasm were at a high as Clay had just gotten home and the kids had just gotten out of the bath (after digging ashes out of the (cold) woodstove and covering themselves from head to toe), followed by some naked jumping on the bed, at which time Vivi peed on the bed, Sam was racing around in his pajamas, babbling a whole string of the nonsense words he likes to make up at the top of his lungs, and I'm saying, "Okay, everyone, let's sit down. Vivi you have to wear undies at the table. Where are the forks? Don't eat your boogies! No climbing on the table..."
It was one of the moments at the end of the day where you think you've neatly alloted your energy to last you through the whole day, but suddenly realize you miscalculated somewhere and have just used up your last drop of energy and patience. So I said, "Wait, before we sit down, we all need to take three deep breaths!" And we did. And it was amazing. The kids are kind of used to that drill, thank goodness, because I use it rather frequently. But it's just so effective. There we were, all four of us, standing around the table, breathing in deeply together, and then bloooowing it out. And then, miraculously, peacefully (at least for awhile) we sat down and ate.
Does anyone else do this? Do you have other tricks to reset the craziness meter and regain a bit of peace?