Saturday, January 12, 2013

Repair shops

Just the other day my dear friends little girl ran away. Again.
Not far. But she is six, and it was in the rain trailing toys and bedding with her...

Once the crying and the raging was over there lay a lot of muddy, messy toys, one disreguated little girl and an amazing, but exhausted Mama. How much I love this particular Mama. While texting back and forth with “A” I was remembering a tactic we use at times when we find ourselves stuck.
Their needing to be a repair, after behavior...and well, the Repair being too much, physically or emotionally for the child to be able to fix it alone.

Ahem, I made so major screw up with my kids a couple months ago to afford me to actually NEED to mimic opening a business, to help THEM fix something destroyed during big feelings... in the name of me not dealing with it in a better way and upping the anty, got myself in a pickle, in MAJOR need of repair.

Case and point;
Some of my children have very thick ethnic hair, that takes A LOT of hours fingers cramped, back aching to do...yet I really enjoy doing it and love to see the end result, as they do,until they are mad, or bored, or it is 3:25 p.m. And the world isn't fair, AGAIN...or they are angry with me for some reason. And then undo or RIP OUT their hair, that I have spent HOURS sometimes days to do.
*In case you are wondering, THIS one thing CAN make me lose my shit cool, like non other...
and so I epically fail in my response and follow the moment up with a, “Fine, I am DONE helping you with your hair, you do it yourself, look ridiculous, let it matte, I am not helping you anymore if you keep on messing up what I try to do.” (See I am TOTALLY HUMAN)*

5 days in and I am noticing we are going to have to go out in public someday I am realizing....and unless I shave their heads bald and claim lice, (and I home-school) I AM LOOKING LIKE A NEGLECTFUL WHITE MOM TO BROWN KIDS.
( This can be a BIG issue in adoption of cross race families caucasian Moms not taking care of their childrens black hair)
Well damn-it. I can't win. ( and yes, that is how I felt...this marathon of who was going to wait out “The great Hair stand-off of October 2012” and I the idiot that through the gauntlet down was going to eat crow. (because I was an idiot and threw down a natural consequence gauntlet)
…..and so I had as Opri would call it an AHA! moment...

PLAYFUL came to mind.....

So I had my oldest draw up a sign.
We got out nail polish.
We pulled out hair dryers and make up and hair do-dads....
“SASSY's BEAUTY SALON” was open for business....for FUN....
We started with the boys....and before I knew it, everyone was fixing each others hair....and my problems and the stand off forgotten.

And so, we have begun to open Repair Shops all over our home.

I have learned after an initial melt down, my kids can stand in the wake of their destruction and have guilt and shame in the result...yet have so MUCH anxiety, and feel so completely overwhelmed in the HOW TO, clean it up, fix it, re make, undo, that they become paralyzed and once again triggered. 
That shame builds like the giant tin foil ball Pee-wee Herman kept adding to every Saturday morning when I was growing up as a kid.

So far we have had a
“Grumpy's Carpet Cleaner” amazing how fast eye liner, oil paint and other not so exciting fluids and solids are cleaned up when I have a crew...with names and all. For the record, I am ALWAYS Billy Bob.

A “Wonky Days Dry Cleaners”...where we DRY and CLEAN up wet and dirty things.
A “Frustrated Fred's House Keeping and room cleaner”.
A “Bugged and Bummed Bathroom Cleaners”....

and my personal favorite “Pouting and Plugging pluming” kids are learning to unclog and spider toilets with the best of them.

If we can turn the repair into a game, where workers are payed with grapes, raisins, skittles and hugs...when the WHY, and HOW the job that needs to be done was created and is overlooked in the name of fun and togetherness.

We all win.
The broken gets fixed...and really MORE than a repair is made.


  1. This a great idea! Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Love it....and once again, love your wisdom. The thing I have the hardest time with is stuff that gets broken that I can't afford to fix. Things like the theft of a lot of money from a sibling or major property damage. The "little" stuff can be fixed in ways like this. But the big stuff...I'm still at a loss.

  3. Such a great idea! I could use a whole string of home businesses like that for my grown one and myself. Let me see... Starvelings Southern Foods Restaurant... Virulent Vacuuming and Dusting Service... Lazy Days Laundry... The Slapdash Window Washers, Inc... Torn Hair Tax Returns Co... I could go on and on. :) You are a jewel and a joy, Lindsay!