First of all, I’d like to wish you all a Happy Day Before Day Before Christmas. It’s highly likely that I won’t be posting further until after Christmas, although you never know. I have so much to do in the next 2 days. We are having ten people cram into our little apartment, and it’s going to be squishy. I’m looking forward to it, but I’m also nervous. Thankfully I sorted the menu out several weeks ago, so the only thing I still need to do is prep and cook it, and clean my house. Really, with 2 boys, and myself, that’s quite the task in itself. The last thing I want to have is our guests arrive, walk into the bathroom, and passing out from the smell of it. Ok, it’s not really that bad, but there’s socks everywhere, the fixtures need a clean, you can’t see yourself in the mirror, and the potty’s in the middle of the floor, along with all the bath toys. Getting to the toilet is questionable. I am happy to say, though, that for prep and cooking, not only do I have my husband (who’s willing to help!), I also have today to do “pre-prep”. Which, of course, is going to make it way easier tomorrow.
In other news, have you ever stumbled on that one moment in life that shaped your entire adult journey? I totally found it yesterday. I feel like a different person this morning. I honestly feel like I’ve lost weight. I have not had an easy go of the last 8 years, and neither has my sister. Having found the reason feels, to me, like I can move on, and be me again. I didn’t realize it until last night, but that one moment has even shaped how I interact with my son, and not in a good way. It’s the reason for my googling habit, it’s the reason for my social anxiety, the list goes on. Well. I. Will NOT. Let that continue. It ends now.
Speaking of which, this morning I have tried something new. I am teaching Biggest what it means to be kind. Since that situation made it so that I didn’t even feel comfortable showing who I really was to my own toddler, he doesn’t really know me. How can he listen to a person he doesn’t understand? I let him see ME this morning. It’s been lovely. Oh, it’s not without it’s issues. We have still had some attitudes. He is 2 after all. But we’ve had several conversations about kindness, and we made some excellent progress in the form of… he woke me up the second time with a snuggle, and a “How are you?” and a “Did you sleep well?” and a “May I have some Cheerios now?”. That’s a significant and happy improvement on the original “I WANT CHEERIOS” followed by stomping and flailing himself into a tantrum. And, he accepted the repercussions of not listening to me quietly. After explaining why it wasn’t kind what he did, he went off quietly to play instead of throwing a fit and hurling himself into the time-out chair.
Parenting Discovery #1: I figure, respect from your children starts with something called “awe”. Not fear, “awe”. All of the people that I respect, from my childhood and from my adulthood, I am in awe of. Not worshipful awe, just the appreciation of how their self stands out. They don’t budge, their core self is immovable. They are who they are, and that is that. That’s what I want to show my Biggest. So far, between all of this crap that’s gone on, I’ve been very inconsistent, both with discipline and rewards. So not only does he not think I’ll actually follow through if he does something inappropriate, he also doesn’t care if I promise him anything because it’s not necessarily going to happen either. That makes me sad. And it’s going to change.
Sorry for the sappy early Christmas note. Actually, no I’m not. I know I normally put humor into a lot of situations, but today didn’t feel like one of those posts. It’s not very often something actually happens in a life-changing way. I know I’ve gotten “bright ideas” but they’re usually applied like a band-aid. This, people, is something that has changed my core. It’s not a band-aid.
And with that, I wish you all the absolute happiness that should accompany the holidays. Whether with family or by yourself, I hope that you are able to experience joy in whatever form finds you.