I came across a picture of @JoanneWallace on Facebook one day and it pretty much inspired me to be a better parent.
Joanne manages to make even the most mundane seem fun so when I read about her Craaaaazy Night on EverythingMom.com I thought I’d give it a go. But I couldn’t do it exactly like Joanne because (a) I’m not all fairy dust and smiles like her. I’m more a cynical, let’s have fun but 'for the love, can you two just please calm down', I know the exact point it’s all going to get out of control so let's just stop this RIGHT NOW kind of mom and (b) my husband works ridiculous hours so I’d be doing all this Cuh-razy *waves hands manically in air* stuff by myself and I know all too well that Craaaaazy Night on my own without back-up would make it crazy for a whole different set of reasons.
So I thought I’d take one aspect of the whole craziness and embrace it. Each Friday I would let the boys choose whatever they wanted to eat for dinner.
When I told the boys, they were ecstatic, yet also unbelieving. What was the catch?
When I explained there was no catch, they started planning. It was Son No. 1’s turn first and the dinner he picked was….drumroll please….. Cookies and Cream chocolate bars and juice.
I smiled and nodded enthusiastically, then said “Joanne’s the one who came up with this idea so let me see if there are any rules we need to follow before we plan, okay?”
And they’re all, but you said there wasn’t a catch and I was all It’s not a catch, it's a clarification.
Also, shut up.
So I fired off an email to Joanne in a panic. What do I do if all they want to eat is candy for dinner?
And she responded Meh…it’s just one night.
And I was all But it's like chocolate! And juice! And...chocolate...and....
Oh good gawd I'm a control freak.
So I went back to the boys and was all candy for dinner’s fine but you need to have one healthy thing. Because I don’t think Jo-Anne really understood how much of a control freak I really am and while I’m okay with permanent marker and snail habitats strewn throughout my house, the thought of giving my kids only candy for dinner threw me into a bit of a tizzy.
We’re now on week four of Craaaaazy Night and funnily enough, the dinners have gotten a bit better. Turns out having nothing but chocolate bars and juice for dinner leaves little boys with sore tummies. Nothing like some good ol’ natural consequences to teach them about better choices.
But most of all, the kids love it, it’s all they talk about all week. They plan, trade ideas, change their minds about 10 million times, and then they plan some more. And the absolute delight on their faces when they tell friends about their new Friday night dinners is almost as good as the look of disbelief on my husband’s face when I told him about the Crazy Night plan.
That was all kinds of awesome.
As for me? With a couple of Craaaazy Nights under my belt I've become more relaxed knowing one night of food debauchery won’t spiral into a sugar-induced frenzy that ends with yelling and tears.
I save that for when I'm PMSing.