Motherhood isn't simple and straightforward... I thought teaching was hard and required me to be on my toes and have a "bag of tricks." But being a mommy is even MORE so about being savvy and prepared for the unexpected.
For instance, you never know when your darling child will refuse to eat those yummy smashed potatoes he's been gobbling for weeks. Or when changing a diaper turns into an Olympic event. Or when your toddler will play "who-can-take-the-longest-to-put-on-his-shoes" with you (of course, when you're running late for that doctor who is strict about promptness!).
Nod your head if you've ever just headed into the bathroom to give yourself a mommy-time-out or rethink your strategy for a minute. (Although I don't know about you but the bathroom is no longer private in my house!).
I've done some pretty silly things to get my son to go along with my plan for the day. But I have to say the MOST effective is when I sing to him. Singing calms him down nearly immediately, or gets his attenton so he'll follow directions. Or distracts him from the cars he wants to play with so he can eat his dinner.
It might sound silly and crazy (or maybe you've been there) but... making up a song to go along with whatever I want him to do nearly always does the trick. I am famous for my "Sweet Potato" song that 99% of the time will get him to eat his food (even if it isn't sweet potatoes!). Or my poetic repetition of book lines like "Quick as a Cricket" to get him to speed up so we can get out the door!
Our new goal is to potty train, and singing has come in handy here too... I made up a special potty dance & song to reward him with whenever he attempts to use the potty! Of course, he TRIES to get me to sing it when he's NOT in the bathroom, but I hold firm and say "not until you use the potty!"
I try not to imagine what I must look like, because I am pretty sure it's ridiculous! But it works!
We do end up spending a lot of time in the bathroom these days as a result! That tiny room is perhaps the most under-rated room in the house...