I'm lazy. Sure, I have my bursts of frenzied activity, but then I also struggle daily with laziness. I often joke that my parenting choices (breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping, baby-led weaning) are because of my laziness, though of course that isn't the case. The fact that those things are less work for me is just an added bonus. ;-)
Today, though, I found myself wondering how I would've handled something differently had I taken the time to actually deal with it instead of taking the easy, lazy way out. I'd gotten an early birthday present in the post (thanks, Mom & Daddy!), and the kids were happily playing with the box. Charlotte was sitting on top of the box and Kieran wanted to use the box as a road for his toy cars. He therefore pushed her off. Unfortunately I had a knee-jerk reaction where I raised my voice and sent Kieran to the corner while I scooped up the crying Charlotte. Kieran had started to give Charlotte a kiss by way of an apology, but I sent him anyway.
Did that solve the problem? No. True, it got him out of the way, but that wasn't necessary. He wasn't going to push her again or hurt her in any way. He wouldn't have been in the way while I comforted Charlotte. He didn't intend to hurt her in the first place.
So if it didn't solve anything, why did I do it? Because it was easy. And I knew that as I was doing it. I knew as I was sending him over there that he needed to be next to me as well so we could talk about it. He's a very sensitive kid and talking to him can really help him to understand why he shouldn't push and how he should've handled it differently. I know that about him, and yet I didn't do it. I'm lazy.
Instead of addressing the root of the problem, I reacted badly to the end result. Ideally I'd have addressed the issue before Kieran resorted to pushing, since they weren't out of sight (I was cleaning in the kitchen and they were playing in the living room, but the door was open and I could see them in my peripheral vision). Failing that, I wish I'd have reacted in a calmer fashion and had Kieran sit down with me to help comfort Charlotte. He could then see the consequences up close and we could talk about it. Hopefully next time I won't take the easy way out and will take the opportunity to teach.