Tonight we had our usual intense dinner time; everyone ate something different, mostly what could be gleaned from the fridge (leftover pizza? salad? cereal with milk?). Yes, intense is the best word to describe my older two at times...tempers were flying, so I pulled out a chair to sit down (intending to do my usual UN-worthy diplomatic negotiations between warring parties), and it just happened to be THE chair. The one that, when pulled a certain way, detaches at the seat so that the entire top rungs and backrest come right out. This happens to me at least 3 times weekly, and for those of you who ask, "Why not fix it?"...well, let's just say it hasn't been a top priority.
So, mommy had a temper tantrum and threw the broken part on the floor. Yes, I felt like a right ass immediately afterwards, just in case anyone is wondering. I vowed to myself when I started this blog that it was NOT going to present only the pretty parts of my life; I don't want any mother reading this blog to think that I'm Supermom, or to feel inferior because of what I write about parenting. We raise our voices in this house, we put movies on (sometimes two in a row!) so we can sleep in on a Saturday morning, we threaten to take toys away when they fight, and bribe with ice-cream. I would say these "not-so-great" parenting techniques rolled in right around the time our third child was born. We call it survival. We hope to gradually "improve", but for now, we're still kind of in survival mode.
My heart was racing with frustration and with annoyance at myself for my poor role modelling (it's pretty tough to tell a small child to "use their words" when I can't even keep my adult-self in check sometimes!) Daddy had to leave for band practice, and I knew that hour till bedtime was going to be a long one.
So we went outside. Bless the great outdoors for their calming influence! We blew bubbles and listened to the it-just-might-rain kind of wind. Everyone calmed down, and when bathtime rolled around, everyone was their happy selves again. I must remember that when our tempers get the best of us, the best thing to do is to scoop everyone outside for some free-range play.
What was your parenting lesson of the day?