I turned to see my 4-year-old spinning around as fast as he could while whipping a stuffed Dalmatian along with him—undoubtedly just winding up to throw it.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” I started to protest, but it was too late. “Puppy dog” (as my kids so creatively named the Dalmatian) slipped out of my son’s little grip and went flying across the room—and smacked my 1-year-old in the face.
She was fine, of course. More stunned than anything else.
I felt frustrated with my son for playing too rough indoors, and muttered something about how he could have really hurt his little sister or broken something expensive (like the TV—gasp!).
But I quickly softened when I considered the circumstances that led to the dog-spinning incident:
A few days of cold, winter weather that limited outdoor play.
Hours spent hanging out in the same 2 rooms of the house, with the same old toys.
Pent-up little kid energy that just had to get OUT.
It was definitely time for mama to intervene.
So I did, with a strategy I always keep in my back pocket for moments like these—moments when the kids are experiencing that dangerous combination of being too cooped up and too wound up at the same time: More →