How to “Fixit” for Your Inner Four-Year-Old

Something didn’t go the way I wanted today. Someone isn’t doing what I want them to do today. And the weather is totally misbehaving and out of my control. My inner four-year-old is stamping her foot and is totally pissed off. And that’s okay.

maggie mcreynolds blog, tantrumsI’m kinda letting her have her say at the moment, because it’s interesting and a little entertaining—she’s cute when she’s mad. She wants things when she wants them, the way she wants them, and at the exact time she wants them! She is hollering and her cheeks are red and she is still trying to control things by pouting (the lip thing sometimes works, you know), wishing (lack of magic lamp issue aside), and doggedly trying to put the “broken” things back together with kindergarten scissors and that thick, weird paste some of the kids used to eat in school.

My grown-up knows that at some point, she will tire of this effort and will thrust it at me and say, “Fixit.” What she really means isn’t that she expects me to change other people’s behavior, or magically alter the weather, or wave a magic wand and make the pants that arrived in the wrong size (too big) suddenly be the right one.

She wants me to fix her feelings, she wants me to fix it by helping her figure out how to feel better, and how to go with it when things and people and weather aren’t going the way she expected or the way she wanted them to.

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dictionary page, maggie mcreynolds blog

Use Your Words

Words are funny. Words are powerful. Words are cool—sometimes even when we don’t know what they mean. My son, at age six months or so, would get completely hysterical over words he loved the sound of: itchy, whoosh, kapow! He even came up with a few priceless ones of his own, whose meaning only he knew: widgy-widgy, boof, and, my favorite, va-boom.

I come from a family of professional writers. Words were and are my Legos, my blocks, my roller skates, my backyard jungle gym.

When I was eight years old, I wrote a collection of short stories that my mom “published” (aka copied and stapled together in batches) as a gift for my extended family members. Of course, being only eight, I had no idea how to get my characters out of the strange predicaments into which I had plunged them, so almost every single story ended with “and it was all a dream!”

I thought it was a cop-out until I watched that “Who Shot J.R.?” cliffhanger years later.

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smiling kid with paintbrush, maggie mcreynolds blog

Get Messy

Your life is a work of art.

And that doesn’t mean it’s pretty.

Imagine a sculptor slashing the arm off a figure and starting again. Imagine throwing handfuls of paint at a canvas. Imagine starting out sketching a horse, but noticing it’s turning into a buffalo somewhere along the way.

Imagine creating the coolest thing ever out of broken tile, shards of glass, stray bits of unraveled sweaters, and torn paper.

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