I am going to remember this thread for the times when I AM LOSING IT! Thankfully, right now, all is well in our world (relatively speaking). So, I was trying to think of what I do that does work when my toddler twins are driving me bonkers...
Sometimes, they're just hungry (and haven't learned to tell me).
Sometimes, I start yelling and then in the middle of it my brain is saying "Be quiet, be quiet, be quiet" Then, I am either (1)able to abruptly switch to quiet voice or (2)still yelling, say that I have lost my temper and will try to stop yelling as soon as possible! Then, of course, it's the standard, "Wow, that wasn't a really good choice I made, was it? What would a better choice have been?...That's right, using a quiet voice and getting some space. I love you guys a lot, but it's awfully hard when you're ...."
Sometimes, I have the presence of mind to realize that what they really need is my attention...ALL of it. So I get them to sit in my lap with my arms around them, which is our way of calming down, centering, and getting ready to try again.
Sometimes, I say, "You have a lot of energy, don't you? Let's clean up everything and bounce balls, or jump and spin, or..."
Sometimes, I actually let curse words fly out of my mouth and do all kinds of things that are inappropriate...and then take a deep breath, realize that it didn't help at all, and that I've created a situation that I need to apologize for (again!), and try to use it as a learning experience to help dd and ds learn how to handle their anger and regroup. I do NOT want them to grow up thinking that they have to be perfect in order to measure up. I DO want them to have the skills and motivation to make good choices.
My biggest motivation currently for keeping the cussing to a rarely heard, can't help it, explosive instance is that EVERYTHING comes back, and I'd rather hear my two year olds say "Oh my GOODness" with great conviction and emotion, than anything that would make me cringe.
Sometimes, I pull out one of our few videos and gain some precious minutes for myself.
And sometimes, none of it works and I wonder how I will survive the day. But I always do. It's great to know that I'm in good company.
one last note...from a friend w/ a 4yo, get them dressed the night before...that way, they wake up in clean, albeit wrinkled clothes. Or let them wear their jammies, or nothing, or whatever is minimally acceptable for safety!