Every morning around 6 I hear it. The pop of a door, the patter of the feet, the screams of “he’s not sharing!!” And my morning begins.
Normally I try to resolve the issues as the come up. Normally I end up screaming. I really do try hard not to yell at my kids. I love them. I truly do. But there’s only so many times you can say “stop” “put that down” “don’t poop on the floor”. It’s been a long summer. We’re only a week in.
So for the sake of my voice, and my liver, I’m trying not to talk TO my kids. Instead I’m trying to talk with my kids. We all know the feeling of getting a talking to. We sit there and let the person say their peace, silently thinking of what we want for dinner.
My boys are the same. No matter how many times I say “don’t throw the clothes!” They always do. They say sorry and we repeat the cycle. So this morning as I was shoving whoever’s clothes into whatever draw, I paused. I took a breath. I walked out of the room. My boys followed.
“What’s wrong Mommy?” Asked big bear
“Well, you see, I spend a lot of time cleaning your clothes and putting them away. It makes me really upset when you make a mess of them. I would really like you to not throw the clothes around the room. Can you tell me why you did that?”
I got a shrug from little bear. At 3 I don’t expect much. Aside from randomly meditating at breakfast.
But big bear told me they thought is was a game. It was fun to throw the clothes around. I asked him if he thought there might be another game they could play next time they want to be wild.
And here was the learning moment for me. I allowed him time to think it through. I worked on having him be part of the conversation. I worked on not screaming at them when I got blank stares.
“We could go outside and throw a ball or play on the swings.”
“That’s a great idea. Let’s do that next time.”
So I took a breath and sent them out. I gave them a space to be wild and asked for a space to stay calm. I was super mom. I felt I earned the right to sit down and relax…. And take another deep breath.
9 more weeks to go….