In our house food and drinks, other than water, stay in the kitchen as far as our toddler goes. Yet when she is not getting attention from us she knows running off with it is a way to get it. It is the classic example of "I'd rather have negative attention than none at all."
Rather than try to get on her about staying in the kitchen or taking it away; last night I turned it into a game. My husband could continue talking to me and each time my daughter got to the end of our long kitchen island I would jump into her path and do a little dance while singing "doo bop da boo".
By the second of third time it had not only become a fun game for her but she was laughing uncontrollably. By the fifth or sixth time she was laughing so hard she didn't even notice that I slipped the cup out of her hand and the game continued.
Yes, it was a bit distracting trying to have an adult conversation during this game, but much less distracting that having an upset child melting down on the floor. She was getting positive attention, my husband was being heard, and my favorite sound in the world was filling the room.
I'm so grateful to find ways to enforce the rules playfully. I'm grateful to have been able to meet my family's needs all at once. I'm grateful to accept that if it isn't positive attention then my daughter will seek negative attention and I'm grateful to be working to find compromises to reroute her back to the positive even if my attention is split.
I'm grateful for the sound of laughter. I'm grateful for the way my daughter gets overtaken by fits of laughter. I'm grateful for memories of laughing uncontrollably with friends. I'm grateful for recent events of laughing so hard my eyes watered. And I'm grateful to be incorporating more laughter into every day.
When was the last time you laughed until you cried? When was the last time you let your laughter become unstoppable, gasping fits of joy? How many times a day do you laugh?
May today remind us the importance of laughter. May we channel our inner child and find unbridled laughter and joy waiting for us. Have a beautiful day!