Don't you wish kids came with gauges? I'm talking about dials or thermometers that show you their moods and basic needs. You know, hunger, sleepiness, happiness and all that jazz.
Just when you think you've got your kid(s) figured out, they suddenly change all their habits - am I right? The picky eater who has recently become a bit more adventurous suddenly regresses, the full of energy girl suddenly needs a nap or an earlier bedtime because she's "so TIRED!", and the kid that is always entertained by the screen can't find anything to watch.
Sometimes there just no winning with kids. I've had many days where I've missed the "actual" hungry time, and no eats anything for dinner (but then wakes up at 5am because their tummy is growling); and the fun days where you miss the ideal bedtime by about 15 minutes and, because of that, it's now an hour long bedtime, AND the kid won't stay in their room. I'm sure we've all had those days.
I would love a little cheat like a dial or gauge that has a nice green window for when your kid is perfectly hungry (and will eat most anything), and adequately tired (without being suddenly unreasonable about everything - I mean really, how hard is it to put on a pair of pajamas?!), and a mood indicator wouldn't be too bad either: happy. sad, grumpy, and totally unapproachable!
I sometimes think communication is key, but my oldest totally shuts down when her world is not going how she thinks it should be. And I mean she refuses to speak. About anything. To anyone. Especially if she thinks she's going to get in trouble. I know I perhaps enable this behaviour by just asking more questions (sometimes more loudly as I lose what was left of my temper) instead of finding an alternate way to approach the scenario. This is, again, where the gauges would come in handy! I am amazed, sometimes, at my ability to not actually throttle my children when they resort to this non-speaking state. Often I have to leave the room and take 3 breaths so I can re-approach with a clear head and (hopefully!) get to the bottom of whatever we're trying to do/fix/talk about.
Kids are confusing - do any of you readers have tips on keeping things on an even keel at home? I find now that the girls are older it's not nearly the same as the toddler timeframe, but nothing is a straightforward as it should be. Please, share your comments!