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The Home Video That Saved My Sanity

Erin Zammett Ruddy

Those of you who read this blog regularly know that my kids can be challenging. They are challenging in the best possible sense of the word (smart, physical, curious, independent, etc), but our days can be pretty exhausting nonetheless. And when they're being extra defiant or particularly bratty or spilling an entire bowl of popcorn on my couch and then sitting in it, I can lose perspective. I want to scream and sometimes I do. In these moments it’s easy to forget that they're really just sweet, innocent babies. My awesome snap-me-back-to-reality solution: Watch a video of when they actually were sweet, innocent babies.

Nick and I watched this clip—filmed when Alex was about two and a half—over and over again the other day. We also showed the kids, who were mesmerized. (Do you remember how fun it was to watch home videos of yourself?!) And it was just what the doctor ordered, the perfect reminder that my kid, while challenging, is just a kid. Yes, Alex is a big kindergartner who gets homework and rides the bus but he's also still that wild and crazy little boy who loved balloons and taxis (love this song, from Nick Jr.!) and being silly. Watching this video made me so happy I cried. He was so cute! He is so cute! It reminded me how fleeting all these difficult popcorn-crunching stages are. How fast it all goes. It also reminded us that we needed to take more videos of Nora—the only one we had to show her involved us oohing and ahhing at her four-month-old self until she puked. Which, actually, was a big hit with the kids. Perhaps I'll post that one next week.

So, do you ever look back at photos or videos of your kids? How does it make you feel? If you’re having a rough behavior patch, I highly recommend it. Works wonders for your tolerance!

PLUS: Watch Kids Weigh in on the 2012 Election