This is a post I wrote that was originally published on Mamalode.com on June 19th 2015:
It was a typical afternoon in the Smith household. Our oldest son was home from school and we were all out in the backyard enjoying the heat. While the kids were playing I remembered that I needed to adjust one of our sprinkler heads. I headed into the garage and proceeded to turn on the sprinklers in the backyard. I didn’t tell the kids what was going on, I figured it would be more fun to watch them panic. Sure enough when sprinkler zone 5 turned on they all ran for their lives screaming and yelling to sprinkler zone 6 to stay dry.
They just had their regular clothes and shoes on and I didn’t really want them getting soaking wet. There was plenty of room in our backyard to avoid the water. Content that they were adequately avoiding the sprinklers, I went to work trying to adjust this sprinkler head. I was failing miserably and getting all wet and muddy in the process. I was starting to become very frustrated with this dumb little sprinkler head when I decided to look over and see what the kids were doing.
There the four of them were, standing in a circle around one of the rotating sprinklers just getting pummeled by the water. They were soaked, top of the head to bottom of the feet soaked. Covered in mud and shoes probably ruined. Soaked. All four of them. Already quite annoyed by my sprinkler head adjustment failure, I nearly flew off the handle. I couldn’t even think straight I got so angry, I couldn’t even move I was so angry. I told them not to get wet. They were drenched.
Then it happened. I took a second look. Here were 4 siblings in the hot Florida sun running through the sprinklers laughing at the top of their lungs and squealing with pure delight. They were taking turns spinning around and bending over and letting the sprinklers spray their butts and they thought it was the funniest thing their little minds had ever experienced. My heart melted. I needed to let them be kids more. I was being too hard on them lately.
I went over to them and wiped the mud off my youngest’s mouth (I’m pretty sure he had been eating dirt) and I told the others to go put their shoes on the porch. I wasn’t mad anymore. I let them run around a while longer before I shut down the sprinklers and made them strip down on the porch and head straight to the bath.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that day and how I’ve been so quick to become frustrated with them lately. I don’t like it. I’m going to make a conscientious effort to be more patient and kind with them and to remember that they are just little guys. Sometimes I treat them like they are teenagers. And honestly, I turned the sprinklers on them without warning in 90 degree heat, what did I think was eventually going to happen?
Now if I could just get that pesky sprinkler head adjusted I’d be in good shape.
How about you? Have you ever needed to take a mini-reevaluation of the way you have been dealing with your kids? How’d that go?
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