It kinda works, is my point.
I have a similar tactic for when life is exploding in various forms with my kids. The more crazy autism is making my life and me, the more I dig in to some Betty Crocker- Pioneer woman version of myself. Yesterday was one of those days.
Miles has this thing where he demands I change him when he poops. That doesn't sound unreasonable, actually, and it isn't. I certainly wouldn't want to go around with poop in my pants. However Miles also has a sensory issue with poop. So - and now this is where it gets GRAPHIC so go ahead and look away now. I'm warning you.
He'll poop one tiny smidget of poop. A WEE poop. THEN, at THAT moment he'll start shouting in my face "POOP! POOP!" Yesterday by 9 am he'd done it six times. 'Why don't you set him on the potty?' you might ask with great incredulity because you've raised kids and know a thing or two about potty training. Well, gentle reader, I do. Frequently but not as frequently as I should. The main reason for this is simply that he tends to scream the whole time and frankly sometimes I'm just not fucking up to it.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I'm human. Sometimes I'm just doing my best to function and what that includes is a level of skilled nursing I wasn't prepared to have to live. Sometimes chaos wins.
Yesterday however, I drank a bunch of coffee and pinned a bunch of workouts on Pinterest (because that burns calories amirite?) and decided I wasn't going to let the day be so very fucked. I was going to be a good MOM WHO DID THINGS WITH HER KIDS instead of some mom trying to dungeon in World of Warcraft on her very wittily named Demon Hunter (Murdurhobo, her name is Murdurhobo - I slay me) anyway I was going to DO STUFF.
Miles was my main trouble maker so I decided we'd bake something, anything, because he LOVES to help bake. My mom left me with a terrible applesauce bread recipe. I mean, it's just not good. I'd vowed for a long time to find a new one, mainly because she used to make some version of applesauce bread that was good and not like the recipe. I found one on the internet and Miles and I spent some quality time stirring and mixing.
In fact it was enough activity for him to chill him the eff out for a while. He got bored with planned activity when I put it into the oven and decided to go watch youtube videos of hotel commercials and people making pretend food out of playdoh (that's a thing, no really).
That was right about when Julia and Louis started fighting. He likes to tell her the shows she watches either aren't real or are stupid. He does this because he's 14. She then starts sobbing and gets mad and yells about how he ruins everything and it's just this whole brother/sister dynamic that is both soul sucking and annoying as hell. At that point I enlisted her to go with me outside to gather pinecones and some more firewood.
She thinks that it's great, trudging through the forest edge, picking up pine cones and to top it off it was actually cold outside so it took her mind off the injustice that had been wrought by Shimmer and Shine being criticized.
Adding things to the fire, twigs, pine cones, witches, is entertaining to the kids and so we sat and burned various things from the woods for a while and no one thought to be critical of a talking sponge who lives in a pineapple while we did it.
This peace lasted a while. But the sun had to set and with it came more fighting, more demands for a diaper, time on the toilet with screaming the likes of which not heard since Torquemada was around, and general wearing down of my I AM A GOOD MOM I AM SPENDING TIME WITH MY KIDS mentality.
I did choose a workout and did it and I admit I felt some better. I felt less like crying and screaming so that was a plus. It cleared my head to enough to realize it was time to do some more together stuff so I decided to make a potato side dish I'd seen online and Miles could help with - there was stirring involved. Julia came to consider helping but she was busy being Elsa apparently so it was just me and Miles. He ate a piece of raw potato and seemed upset with me that it wasn't as tasty as raw batter. While he stirred and I chopped, the sounds of Elsa and her brother playing Battlefront came from the living room - there was peace in the Empire apparently, after all.
These potatoes? Pretty damn good if I do say so myself.
I cleaned up dinner and loaded the dishwasher and realized I HAD SURVIVED a day. It wasn't the worst day. It wasn't a cry in the shower because the world is so wrong day. My husband just had them for three solid days while I was gone and he needed a day away to watch football and chill -so it's not like I was unduly abandoned.
I'm not sure if my need to over-compensate when I'm so frustrated works well or if it just makes me super exhausted in the end. I just know it's my go-to coping tool so in it's own way I suppose it works for me.
What I do know is that at the end of the day we five sat around a fire watching Luke learn about his heritage and snuggled as though there had been no stress in our day. There had been no fighting, no tantrums, no hysterical screaming when asked to use the potty. It was just us, snuggled up and in various stages of nodding off, happy and loving each other.
I guess that's the goal. Achievement unlocked - Happy Kids.