Hostage Negotiations and life with 4 yr olds (x2)

I am convinced that any parent(s) who survive raising twins should receive something like a PhD in life.  I can’t say I’ve earned it yet but I feel like the experience I’m getting should qualify for something extraordinary.

The bottom line is, I have become the queen of negotiating.  Pretty soon, I will have the confidence to talk down a hostage situation, or someone on the ledge… as long as I can get in touch with what really drives them.

Daniel and I are children of a spanking generation.  I’m not saying that was good or bad but we’re pretty pleased with how we turned out.  When you’re parenting children from hard places, that aren’t your own and that have experienced trauma in their life – spanking isn’t the best way to motivate.

Our very dear friend who happens to be an elementary school counselor explained to me one night that we have to have a currency.  I have been frustrated at times because it seems that all of my best intentions have failed, they just don’t listen and obey.  But JA explained that we have to find the currency that motivates them.

Well friends… here is what I have found.  The motivating factors for 2 little 4 yr olds are:  1. candy  2. Peppa Pig   3. Vacation   4. McDonalds

This is how things go down in our house:
Me – I have already told you to stop doing that. If I have to say it again, I’m going to eat a piece of your Halloween candy.
Twin – but mommy, you don’t like chocolate
Me – I know.  This hurts me more than it hurts you.

Score one for the parental team.  I have faithfully consumed a bucket of Halloween candy against my will.

These girls worked hard for the candy

Mommy’s currency is, 1. Peace  2. Quiet  3. Sleep.  If anyone can promise and deliver on these three things, I will give them whatever they want.

Last night for example, they were too excited to go to bed. I was too tired to fight any more battles.  On my 3rd trip to their room, I threw out all the stops.  If you cry again, we will never watch Peppa Pig again… ever… no more Peppa.   And if I hear one more sound from this room… I’m canceling vacation and eating all your candy.  Mommy is sleepy. Please let me go! 

Dear girls, I am sorry for all the things I say when I am tired. I do love you very much.  I love you more when you are sleeping. 🙂

So, we didn’t cancel vacation.  We’re headed out for a week of little adventures kicking it off with the girls’ first Auburn game.  At 3:20 am a little voice called me from her room.  I went in to see what she needs. “I just wanted to give you a hug and a kiss mommy.  Is it wake up time yet?  Is it vacation day?”  No dear, it is not wake up time. I will come get you when it is.    30 minutes later…  “Mommy, is it wake up time yet?”

This is just too exciting!  I know you aren’t supposed to share on social media if you’re going out of town or anything.  I’m going to trust that none of you will break into our home while we’re away.  Just in case you are considering it… be warned:
1. We have an alarm system
2. The house is booby-trapped.  Think Home Alone and a war on mice.
3. We live in a retirement community with very nosy neighbors.  Our homeowner’s association will fine you faster than the police will get here. Park on the grass…I double dare you.
4.  The only thing you will find in our home is a sea of pink toys. It’s seriously not worth your time.
5.  There are germs. For real.

Earlier this week I got the dreaded call from daycare.  “Abby, this is Beth, did you know that hand-foot-and-mouth is going around Baby Girl’s class again?  She has a couple of bumps, I think you might need to come get her.”  This is not possible.  We have Jesus. We use oils. We haven’t been around any cows.

Speaking of cows… I may have the only girls in the world that will be disappointed one day when they meet a cow and it doesn’t actually say “eat more chicken” to their face.  I’ve almost convinced them that’s what cows say.

And about Jesus. I’m not saying anyone that has had hand-foot-and-mouth doesn’t have Jesus… I’m just saying that there are a few things I am specifically trusting him for, and this is one of them.  And the oils… they better work.

Good news, I think we dodged a bullet.  Baby girl is good for now.  Put a little oil on those bumps and they were gone in no-time.  I’m not saying she did or didn’t have it… there’s no proof one way or the other.  Thank you Jesus for saving us.

Oh and lastly, while I’m sharing about germs and adventures in parenting.  Have you ever been to chick-fil-a when things go wrong in the kiddy-play?  We’re averaging about 3 for 4 with the “somebody peed in the slide” moments now.  Fortunately, at this point we haven’t been the “one” but we’ve seen it enough to know the drill.  There’s pretty much a hazmat team that comes in with masks and stuff, shuts down the playground and carefully removes all evidence and aftermath of the accident.  But just in case the sign on the door and the hazmat team aren’t enough notice… my girls will always be there to alert any new person walking in, or any child attempting to make their way into playland.  “Somebody PEED on the Slide!”  announcements are made over-and-over-and-over again.  It’s almost more embarrassing than actually doing it.  (By the way, there’s no shame… mommy, it is not your fault… keep your head up… it could happen to any of us.)

Ok. Time to wrap things up.  I just wanted to share some of our lighter moments with you – so you would know our life isn’t all battles and tears.  We’re loving almost every minute of it.

As we move into the week of Thanksgiving, I can’t help but remember this time last year, preparing our hearts for the girls to leave us before Christmas.  My how things have changed, and how quickly they did.  Even though our waiting seems long and our hearts are ready for finalization, I’m learning to live each day and trust God for the timing.  Thank you friends for your love, support and prayers.  We hope that our story gives you hope, courage and a glimpse of God…and if nothing else, something to laugh at every now and then.

Much love to you all!


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