I've been making some real progress lately in patience, acceptance, and general unflappability. Today was a two-steps-back kind of day. Maybe spending too long happily observing turtles and copulating frogs did something to my brain. "Look Mom--there is a baby on her mommy's back!" Yep. You got it Isaac. Isn't that cute?
Too much screaming in the van. Too much carrying Emma while pushing Lucy in the stroller. Too little food. And Isaac just would not let go of Lucy's bike ribbon. She screamed, I suggested she ask nicely. She screamed "Pleeeeeezzz!" He smiled. I stopped the car and hollered, "Isaac, LET GO OF HER BIKE! HOW MANY TIMES DOES SHE HAVE TO ASK YOU?" The ribbon was dropped and I could tell that my shot had landed. He sunk back in his seat, a little wounded. I apologized, and said I'd clean the toilet when I got home (that is our new immediate consequence for yelling or hurting. . . we have a very clean toilet)
Things were tense for awhile. Then, he made a funny face at Lucy. She laughed. He laughed. I laughed. And he moved on. Giggling ensued and we were shortly jamming out to High School Musical again (don't judge). I thought to myself, what if I could let go that quickly? If Daman impatiently barked at me like that, I would cower, sulk, and scoot away from him for at least two days. I would accept his apology with a shrug and fester for awhile before moving on. He's never yelled at me, but I have certainly done my fair share of festering. What if I just moved on? What if I accepted apologies, shrugged off sharpness, and moved on with love and laughter. Sometimes when my kids are stubborn and tell me they hate church, I wonder what Christ could have meant when He describes children as meek, humble, and submissive. But, then I get it. Then I screw up and when I apologize at bedtime, I get a loving dismissal, a shrug, and a "Don't worry about it Mom, just try harder tomorrow." That has happened.
I will Isaac. Thanks for your patience.
Boy, have I got a lot to learn.