Sometimes you have to guide your reaction to something to make the issue become an opportunity, or at least the realization of progress. This is prehaps a daily battle in both work and home life. And, examples are all around us.
For the past month plus the boys, my wife and I have been sharing the guest bathroom as our Master Bathroom (capitalized out of respect) is being redone. This has been tough as besides the narrow shower, there is a constant state of uncleanliness with young boys that is most realized in the bathroom. And I don’t even have as much to complain about as my wife who has to share the bathroom with 3 boys!
Now that the stage is set, last night after tucking the boys in for bed I went to turn the light off in the bathroom. As I stuck my head through the door I noticed a toothpaste disaster in the sink. Blue gel globs were all over the sink, counter, faucet and even a couple on the mirror. My initial reaction was along the frustration and amazement end of the spectrum.
But, as I was cleaning it all up, it dawned on my that this was actually progress, not a problem. Up until a couple of months ago the boys were still using the training toothpaste- the clear, thin, easy to swallow stuff with the bear on the box. We had tried a switch to real toothpaste (well, real, kid flavored toothpaste) several times and the only thing we had to show for it was a wide variety of Sponge Bob, Spider Man and various other containers.
Finally, we lowered the boom and just stopped buying the training stuff. The boys didn’t like it but I showed them how to rinse and now, as long as there is a cup handy, they take it all in stride. Granted, it makes a mess but that is part of the progress and something that I get over, after the initial realization of the expanse of my cleanup.
So yes, with progress comes some cleanup. Now we have turned our focus to the finer points of brushing, hitting all the spots, hitting them several times, taking more that 10 seconds to fulfill the commitment. Next I guess is to teach the boys how to spit without making a mess, or perhaps how to clean up after themselves. Never at loss for a lesson topic.