Friday, May 12, 2017

Do You Have What It Takes To Survive The Bader House?

I'm often asked, "How do you do it?!" 

"We have systems," I say. 

But the truth is, systems only take us so far. No matter the structure, preparation, or discipline of our family, there will be chaos. 

If you're curious how you might respond to the regular chaos of our home, check out this quick survey! (Answers and Survival Score below.)


1. Your kids are eating breakfast in the kitchen, when the pediatrician calls. You don't get cell reception in the kitchen. Do you: 

A. Answer your phone in the kitchen and hope for the best.

B. Answer your phone in the living room, while whisper-singing "The Wheels On The Bus" with dynamic hand motions through the open doorway, while talking to the nurse.

C. Do not answer the phone. 

D. Your children can handle a few minutes without you in the room. Step outside and take the call. Not sure what the hype is about. 

2. You must mail a package TODAY. Your 2-year-old is tantrumming at the post office. The other toddler and baby are fine. Do you: 

A. Ignore the tantrum and finish mailing the package at the self-service machine.

B. Hold up the line at the self-service machine to console your 2-year-old.

C. Leave with your other two kids, because surely the crying 2-year-old will follow. Paying attention to a tantrum is the worst way to feed it. 

D. Never allow a child to tantrum in public. Demand that he stop.  

3. Your family is getting ready for church. What is the best order to load the car, if you want to make it to church on time? 

A. Big kids first. Then toddlers, then baby. The big kids are self-sufficient, and you can multi-task buckling little ones at the same time.

B. Baby first. Then toddlers. Then big kids. 

C. Send the toddlers out to the garage first. It takes them forever, so this will allow plenty of time, while the big kids go potty, and you put shoes on the baby. 

D. Just tell the kids to get in the car and buckle while you take a moment for lip gloss and mascara. How hard is this?

4. Your 5-year-old needs to go pee during church. You're holding the baby, your spouse has the toddlers. Who takes the 5-year-old potty, with the least disruption to everyone else? 

A. You, of course. Just carry the baby to the bathroom to help the 5-year-old.

B. Your spouse, with the toddlers, can take the 5-year-old to the bathroom. They need a walk anyway. 

C. You send the 5-year-old to the bathroom with the 7-year-old, who is pretty much a 12-year-old in maturity.

D. You don't allow the 5-year-old to leave during church. It's disrespectful. And besides, no kid should have to go to the bathroom twice in two hours. 

5. It's 4 p.m. Prioritize these needs: baby is crying, dog vomited on carpet, dinner is not ready, the mail has arrived, laundry in washing machine needs to move to the dryer, 5-year-old just spilled ice all over the kitchen floor, 7-year-old wants to play high-low, toddlers both have poopy diapers. 

A. Baby, Toddlers, 7-year-old, 5-year-old, Dinner, Dog, Washing Machine, Mail

B. Mail, Washing Machine, 7-year-old, 5-year-old, Toddlers, Baby, Dog, Dinner

C. Sit down to drink some coffee.

D. My house would never be that crazy. I am far too organized. 

ANSWERS

1. Your kids are eating breakfast in the kitchen, when the pediatrician calls. You don't get cell reception in the kitchen. Do you: 

A. Answer your phone in the kitchen and hope for the best.
  • The children behave like perfect angels while you're on the phone. But the call is dropped just before the nurse comes on the line. You'll play phone tag with the doctor's office for the next 24 hours. Eventually, your child's prescription will be refilled. 
B. Answer your phone in the living room, while whisper-singing "The Wheels On The Bus" with dynamic hand motions through the open doorway, while talking to the nurse.
  • Your kids threw their breakfast on the floor and ran into the living room with sticky fingers, because they need to be near you at all times. The nurse can't hear you over the noise, and she hangs up. You'll play phone tag with the doctor's office for the next 24 hours. Eventually, your child's prescription will be refilled.
C. Do not answer the phone. 
  • The doctor knows your family well enough that they didn't expect you to answer the phone anyway. The pharmacy will text when your son's prescription is ready.
D. Your children can handle a few minutes without you in the room. Step outside and take the call. Not sure what the hype is about. 
  • Best of luck to you, friend. Your kitchen's on fire. (But yes, the call went great, and your son's prescription is refilled.)

2. You must mail a package TODAY. Your 2-year-old is tantrumming at the post office. The other toddler and baby are fine. Do you: 

A. Ignore the tantrum and finish mailing the package at the self-service machine.
  • It was rough, but you did it! Back to the car with all the kids, who are now happy, and you will never see those strangers again! Wait, did you leave the package on the scale of the self-service station? 
B. Hold up the line at the self-service machine to console your 2-year-old.
  • You're a great mom. Your son feels loved. Your package is mailed. Everyone in line hates you. Wait, where did your other toddler go? 
C. Leave with your other two kids, because surely the crying 2-year-old will follow. Paying attention to a tantrum is the worst way to feed it. 
  • It worked! He stopped crying! But he didn't follow you out of the post office. You return for him, leaving your other toddler holding the stroller just outside the door. In three seconds, the outside toddler has pushed the stroller down the handicap ramp into the parking lot.
D. Never allow a child to tantrum in public. Demand that he stop. 
  • Best of luck to you, friend. 

3. Your family is getting ready for church. What is the best order to load the car, if you want to make it to church on time? 

A. Big kids first. Then toddlers, then baby. The big kids are self-sufficient, and you can multi-task buckling little ones at the same time.
  • Good job! You are on time! Wait, one of the big kids forgot to go potty. You are late.
B. Baby first. Then toddlers. Then big kids. 

  • Yes! Everyone is in! Baby was upset at having to wait and spit up all over his church outfit. You are on time, but smelly.
C. Send the toddlers out to the garage first. It takes them forever, so this will allow plenty of time. 
  • The toddlers hit the garage door opener on their way out. The dog escaped and is chasing the neighbor's handicapped dog half a block away. Your kids are laughing maniacally. Your neighbor hates you. You are late for church.  
D. Just tell the kids to get in the car and buckle while you take a moment for lip gloss and mascara. How hard is this?
  • Best of luck to you, friend. 

4. Your 5-year-old needs to go pee during church. You're holding the baby, your spouse has the toddlers. Who takes the 5-year-old potty, with the least disruption to everyone else? 

A. You, of course. Just carry the baby to the bathroom to help the 5-year-old.
  • The toddlers lose it when you leave the pew without them. Your entire family ends up standing at the back of the sanctuary for the rest of Mass. Wait, where is the 7-year-old?
B. Your spouse, with the toddlers, can take the 5-year-old to the bathroom. They need a walk anyway. 
  • Your spouse, toddlers, and 5-year-old never return to the sanctuary. You find them in the courtyard picking flowers 30 minutes later.
C. You send the 5-year-old to the bathroom with the 7-year-old, who is pretty much a 12-year-old in maturity.
  • Everything is calm, baby and toddlers are happy, 5-year-old and 7-year-old return quietly to the pew in about 5 minutes. As you leave Mass, you exit by the bathrooms. The carpet feels soggy. You keep walking. 
D. You don't allow the 5-year-old to leave during church. It's disrespectful. And besides, no kid should have to go to the bathroom twice in two hours. 
  • Best of luck to you, friend. 

5. It's 4 p.m. Prioritize these needs: baby is crying, dog vomited on carpet, dinner is not ready, the mail has arrived, laundry in washing machine needs to move to the dryer, 5-year-old just spilled ice all over the kitchen floor, 7-year-old wants to play high-low, toddlers both have poopy diapers. 

A. Baby, Toddlers, 7-year-old, 5-year-old, Dinner, Dog, Washing Machine, Mail
  • Your children will arise and call you blessed! They know you love them. And Bonus! The dog cleaned up his own vomit! You forgot the clothes; they will mold in the washer overnight, and your mail is now suspended indefinitely from failure to empty the box too many days in a row. 
B. Mail, Washing Machine, 7-year-old, 5-year-old, Toddlers, Baby, Dog, Dinner
  • The solo trip to check mail did your heart good. Go conquer the rest! 
C. Sit down to drink some coffee.
  • Yes.
D. My house would never be that crazy. I am far too organized. 
  • Best of luck to you, friend. 

SURVIVAL SCORE

Mostly A's: You'll be fine. 

Mostly B's: You'll be fine.

Mostly C's: You'll be fine. 

Mostly D's: You will not be fine. 





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