Wednesday, October 6, 2010

More House Elf, Less Queen

Friday morning ended up being the opposite of the mama's in charge, everything runs smoothly type of days I've worked towards since I started the Neufeld material. You know, the ones where I feel like I'm Queen of the Universe.

In the middle of the night Thursday, I woke up with a horrific headache.  An hour of fussing around provided me with the comfort I needed to fall back asleep, but I was way behind on rest when Friday morning rolled around.

By the time I dragged myself out of bed, the day was in full swing.  For several hours without me, the kids played playmobil, ate sugar cereal (and who was the doofus that brought THAT into the house?), built forts and developed a whole plan for the day. This meant that once I brought up my plan for the day, I was the problem not the answer.

Which was exactly as fun as it sounded. I had a critical errand I needed to run. For the next three hours I struggled - I wanted them to eat nourishing food and get cleaned up so we could go downtown. They wanted me to wait on them hand and foot.  None of the food I offered was considered edible, they screamed at me for ice in their water, demanded I fetch them socks and they bickered with each other like crazy. My clear pleasant requests were blatantly ignored, none of my great kid motivating tricks or games worked, none of my grumping helped, and they were still bickering with each other like crazy.  I felt like a house elf working for the Malfoy family in the Harry Potter series.

Then, like mana from above, a friend called and invited us to the beach.  I managed to get the kids out the door, and they played at the beach while I escaped on my critical mission.  I returned with delicious food they were surprised and thrilled by.  The busy physical work in the new environment, the shift from our unpleasant groove and the coup of returning with food righted the relationship.  Suddenly, I was in charge again and the kids were happy to comply, carrying things back to the car, helping set the dinner table, finishing up some chores that had gone undone during the morning.

The frustration and stress of Friday morning followed me for several days.  Being a house elf to two demanding masters turns out to be much harder and more exhausting than being benevolent queen to two cheerful and cooperative knights.

Which I guess gives me two pieces of good information for the mornings I'm struggling to get out of bed. First, the reminder that my getting up first really sets us up for success and ends up being much easier and less work in the long run. Second, when I've lost my grip at home, going out for fun and food is a great way to kindly put myself back in charge.

1 comment:

hippiefemme said...

I'm so amazed that you have such willpower. So many parents would have thrown their hands up and called it a loss instead of trying to regain control of the day.