The secret to instant optimism: Ever do this?

The secret to instant optimism: Ever do this?

Ben’s mini vibrating toothbrush broke the other day, tragic because one of his favorite activities is walking around and chewing on it. I had a cute Crayola one handy and gave it to him last night.

“No button!” he noticed as he examined it. Meaning, there was no button to turn it on.

“Broken!” he declared.

But soon enough, he started chewing on it, too.

It occurred to me that if he’d never had some fancypants baby toothbrush, he would have been perfectly content with the Crayola one. But then, he’s two and he got over it pretty fast.

To me, most things in life are relative—a perspective that helps keep me grounded in every which way.g

Max used to have meltdowns when we went out to new restaurants. Now he has a habit of repeatedly saying “It’s disgusting!” when he doesn’t like where we go. It’s annoying and rude (although others don’t understand what he’s saying). We’re working with him on this, but compared to the screechfests we used to have to deal with, this is small potatoes. #relative

The train I take to commute to and from work sometimes gets delayed for no apparent reason. When it happens, I force myself to think back to this summer, when our train line was under repair and instead of one train I had to take two. Suddenly, the train delay’s not so bad. #relative

Ben has this habit of announcing “No waaaaay!” lately when I ask him to do stuff. While this does not make life very easy, he is otherwise pretty sweet and far from some other terrible twos behavior I’ve witnessed like hitting or shoving other kids. #relative

I am in the middle of planning Sabrina’s bat mitzvah, the coming of age ceremony for girls who turn 13. It’s a lot to juggle. But as I’m ordering stuff, writing speeches, making lists and doing all the things, I pause to consider that when I was planning Max’s bar mitzvah I had a three-month-old. And suddenly, it’s easier. #relative

The corrective oral surgery we had for Max’s drooling was not effective. Not one bit. He is OK with this; he’s not particularly aware that he does it. At first, I was really disappointed; the drooling makes people stare and could one day get in the way of employment opps, and I was hoping for a permanent solution. Still, it’s good that he has other options. There’s another surgery he could go, a reversal of salivary glands, but first I need to do some serious research and make sure Max is game to try again.  For now, we’re going to use the scopolamine patch—the one used for motion sickness, worn behind one ear. It also decreases saliva. Years ago, this wasn’t even an option for people with cerebral palsy. #relative

Whenever something’s troubling or bugging me, I try to make it relative and it usually gives me a clearer, more optimistic take on things. To be sure, my relativity-o-meter doesn’t work so well at 5:30 in the morning when Ben wakes up; yes I love this little guy to the moon and back and we’re lucky to have him but 5-freaking-30 a.m. (He did not get the easy-third-child memo.) It also has no effect on worrying forward, like when I get anxious about what Max’s work future might be.

But my theory of relativity often comes in handy for calming down. Try it! Or get your money back, guaranteed.

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