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P A T I E N C E
by Wendy Surber


P- PRAY... a lot! PRAY your coffee kicks in soon. PRAY you can make it to 10:00 a.m. without spiking your child's juice with Benadryl. PRAY your husband doesn't come home to find a babbling, drooling, incoherent wife banging her head against the wall.

A- ACT like you don't have a care in the world. So what if your daughter wants to wear her flower girl dress, purple polka dotted tights, and Blue's Clues slippers topped with a red feather boa to pre school? It's only been 3 days in a row! Just take a picture!

T- TAKE OUT 4 nights in a row doesn't make you a bad parent. They are still getting their meat and potatoes! Yes, burgers and fries count. Hey, you get a double bonus on the fries! Potatoes are a vegetable! Let's not forget the dairy they're getting from all the cheese on the pizza. Cut yourself a slice of pizza and a break!

I- INCORPERATE some time in your daily life to take the kids to a huge field and let them run! Just make sure they don't tire themselves out so much that they konk out in the car. Wouldn't do to jip yourself out of naptime.

E- EATING only 5 crackers, 2 Cheerios, and a grape in the last two days would send any good parent into a frustrated panic. But just remember a child will never starve himself. It's just that there are more pressing obligations for him to fill. Like flushing your paycheck down the toilet, grinding your keys in the garbage disposal, seeing how many toy soldiers fit in the VCR, and seeing how the cat looks in your favorite $30.00 tube of lipstick! The world is a wondrous place to a curious toddler.

N- "NO" is a very negative word. It not only frustrates you, but your kids too. So instead of saying that evil word try rephrasing it! Say, instead of feeding the dog that big block of cheese, why don't you give him this nice bone? Instead of throwing rocks, dirt, and sticks in the dryer, why don't you go out back and dig a big hole? Instead of baking mud pies in the bottom of mommy's oven, why don't you help me bake some chocolate chip cookies? Notice you and your child smiling a lot more?

C- CAMP! If you don't think you can live through another summer of the screean door coming off the hinges from being slammed open and closed every five minutes. The constant whining, "I'm bored!" Refereeing 15 fights in the span of an hour. The water balloon fights in the living room. The incessant, "Look mommy! Look at me! Look what I can do!" while trying to watch your fave soap. Then CAMP is the way to go!

E- END bedtime battles! Take a deep breath and sit down because you're going to be there a while! Let your child recap his/her day. Even if you have to hear about how he won the contest for eating the most rollie pollies at school today for the 50th time! (Just make sure he flosses real good) Write it down in a journal before you go to bed. It'll make a great keepsake!

Good Luck!

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