It wasn’t the best way to start the day.
Last week there was no school or work due to the Muslim Eid Holiday. The weather finally cooled somewhat so we found ourselves kicking back, chilling out and enjoying some down time. So today was the first morning in getting back to a routine. Or so we thought.
At 5:30am dear daughter turned up in the living room showing symptoms of an ongoing physical problem we’ve been trying to get to the bottom of, for some time now. Dear husband started to make arrangements to take the day off work. Oldest son had a stomach bug he was staying home from school. 30 minutes later, we set off to drive other son to school and then head on to the clinic.
At our regular clinic we saw the doctor, had another follow-up test and a subsequent referral to specialists at another hospital. We headed across the city again to spend a couple of hours having more tests done and finally dropped DD off to school about 11am.
Later in the day after school, lunch and calm had settled back in, I went up to DD’s room to see how she was doing. Well, I got sidetracked as I entered her pigsty of a room and instead of offering kindness and empathy, proceeded by making demands to clean up her room – today! Having seen a smart-assed remark from her posted on FB that she wasn’t so keen on doing any homework, I mentioned that it also needed to be attended to.
She was not impressed. That icy stare she’s quite able to produce cut straight through me as I turned to leave her room.
Later, we ate dinner. Did all the usual stuff. I noticed she wasn’t so keen on talking with me or even making eye contact.
Up to her room again later I apologised for giving her a hard time, today of all days, as she hadn’t had an easy one with all the medical stuff going on. I explained that it wasn’t only her aggravating me, but also her brothers paying such little attention to their school work. I was feeling like I needed to get after everyone to be sure it got done and was growing tired of being the nagging mother. She still didn’t seem very impressed with me. Or accepting of my apology.
Bedtime rolled around. Up to her room again. I looked at her,
I hate being mad at you.
I hate being mad at you.
We finally looked at each other with some real understanding, some honest acknowledgement. We both smiled and gave each other the usual big bed-time hug. Only it felt much better tonight.
Later as I thought about it, it occurred to me that it made absolutely no difference whatsoever the reasons we were upset with one another. What mattered was knowing neither of us wanted anger, disconnection, or negativity between us.
Realizing that. Finding that love, was a great way to end the day.
Loving parents beget loving children and conversely you know that loving children have loving parents. Your family has both. Congratulations – it takes hard work to achieve . . . it doesn’t just magically happen !!
Oh how the DD’s pigsty room hit home with me! All throughout the kids “little” years I figuratively held my kids hands and taught them the skills necessary to observe, organize, wipe, wash, scrub, fold, hang, and vacuum. Sometimes these activites were gamelike; sometimes these activities were simply lessons – a place for everything and everything in its place, try and leave everything a little better than you found it, and contribute where you can when you can. During these times I would often smile to myself thinking of how, in a few short years, they would be teenagers and young adults and would be able to really pitch in, on their, under their own initiative, without me prodding and supervising and often re-doing what their little hands had missed. Oh silly me for thinking that ‘being able’ actually results in ‘doing’. Now that they are young adults their inabilities have been replaced with abilities but they have also replaced their eagerness to please Mommy with an even stronger desire to make their own choices in their own time. They can make themselves something to eat but choose to do the dishes hours later, if at all. They can do their own laundry but choose not to take it out of the dryer and put it away until after they have gone out, had friends over and slept a night or two … or simply cannot do without that shirt that now lies in a well-seasoned wrinkled pile of clothes behind the dryer door. They can clean their own bathroom but choose not to notice the dried toothpaste on the sink, the water marks on the mirror or the lint and hair tumbleweeds that scoot to the corners for fluff-ball family reunions. And, despite having the same basic training in room cleaning, I have one whose room is so clutter-free and organized the letters OCD have crossed my mind and another whose room is reminiscent of the aftermath of Katrina. I can’t count how many times I have entered a room in the house as a Mom with a loving song in my heart, only to see a disaster area and suddenly switch to an exasperated Naginator. “Cody, come do your dishes!” “I will! ….. later.” “Danelle are these your clothes in the dryer?” “Yes, just leave them, I’ll get them … later.” “This bathroom is terrible, when are you both going to clean it?” Silence … so silent you swear you can hear crickets chirping …. and the nearest cricket is miles away. Sigh.
As I’ve said before,…. you always make me laugh! It is amazing how people raised in the same house with the same expectations can be so different. I guess it only goes to show they will be their own selves no matter what.
What resonated with me most about what you said though… was how “they have also replaced their eagerness to please Mommy with an even stronger desire to make their own choices in their own time.” I need to remember that and allow room for it. My husband would want me to remember the same goes for him 😉 Can’t be all on MY time.
Thanks for your comment!
Thanks! It only seems to get better as they get older, so for that I am truly grateful. Love you tooooooo, Mom!
But Jody, why is it as wives and mothers we have to remember that everything can’t be on our time yet when our kids and hubbies request something of us, they insist it be on THEIR time? And, why do we then do it on their time? Oh wait, I think I may have somehow answered my own first question by way of my second one. Hmm seems I need to learn a thing or two from my family members. And I will! … later. But first I have to drop everything and run an errand for Brad and find an AHC card for Cody and try and track down a concert ticket for Danelle.
I knew, when I got married and had kids, I would lose my maiden name and my perky boobs but I had not idea I would also lose my ability to say, and carry out, the word “later”.
interesting comments! I could relate to many! often I would nag Chantal about her room at times that were not the best chosen.. it just sets you off when you walk into the chaos!
glad you found a nice way to end the day though 🙂