Today, we had zero tantrums. Quite a few near misses: quick redirection, a brief stint of ignoring, or being silly averted them, though. And we had a blast! I've been on a creative streak this week - finally coming out of the depression fog I've been in for far too long. Yesterday, we made picture frames out of popsicle sticks, which they glued buttons onto and decorated with glitter glue. Then I cut out cardboard from a box in the recycling, glued paper to it, let them color it, and glued it into their frames. Patrick's is now in daddy's office upstairs, and Lilly's went to mommy's office this morning where she put it on her big white board (she sent me a picture to show the kids).
Today, we used toothpicks and mini marshmallows to build towers, chains, shapes, etc. They'd never seen toothpicks; Patrick tried to tell his dad what we were going to play with and he called them chopsticks. When they ate all their marshmallows and were still playing with the "sticks," I realized we could make mini kabobs. I gave them bowls of cut up apples and bananas, cheerios, fruit snacks, and a few more marshmallows, and they strung them on and ate them. Or rather, Patrick stuck an apple on each toothpick, stood it up, and pretended it was a candle to blow out.
I think those two things literally kept them occupied for an hour. It was amazing. No fighting or arguing, plus it was adorable. Just goes to show that if I can put forth a little effort, I can engage their minds enough so they won't be quite so bratty. Not always, but definitely a helpful start. Hopefully this creative streak will continue a bit longer.