Sunday, June 7, 2015

Park Day

The kids are already getting bored with summer, and it's only been two weeks out of school - one of which was spent at the beach!!

I spend my mornings working at home, which means they are free to play on their own.  Most of the times that play revolves around play-doh.  Man, do they love the stuff.  The girls watch youtube videos of their favorite toys and then recreate the videos at home when their internet time has run out.  Gunner injects himself whenever possible.  It's fascinating to listen to them describe their play.

After lunch, it's time to get out of the house.  This week we went to the fountain at the Mall of Georgia, then Friday we went to a park we don't usually go to.  Nothing super exciting, but it was enjoyable nonetheless.

{that face!}

{swinging & a selfie}

{she made it two rungs on the monkey bars, which is exactly two rungs more than she's ever done.  she was excited!}

{a game of chase}

{tag "momma"}

And because each day has its share of highs and lows...

Friday night, as we were cleaning up and getting ready for family movie night, I found myself frustrated and losing my temper... again.  The endearing crafting and play-doh play from earlier in the day was still decorating the kitchen table and I wanted it cleaned off before we went to watch the movie.  I directed one of the girls to put it away. 

Then came the "I didn't do it" and "It isn't mine" and "I didn't even use that today" and back and forth until we were all yelling at each other.  Over scissors and craft paper.  Seriously.  Even thinking back on it now, I'm ashamed of myself.  Little annoyances add up throughout the day and result in over-reacting.  I marched over to the table grabbed up the supplies, and - forcing myself to by-pass the trash can - I put them away.  Then I stomped off to my room - my timeout place - angry to the point of tears.

How do we as parents decipher who is telling the truth and who isn't?  I know one of my girls was lying to me, but I don't know which one and I have no way of knowing.  So what do I do?  Punish them both?  Punish neither?  Let it slide and be one more time where they didn't have to follow through with what mom told them to do? 

I don't know the answer.  I sat down with each of them an apologized for yelling at them, and then explained my frustration.  How things *never* getting picked up gets under my skin and how I can't spend the rest of my life singing the "clean up" song.  

I said the only thing I could say, because as far as I can tell, the only person whose actions I have one iota of control over is my own.  "I'm not going to tell you to clean up ever again" and as I said the words I knew two things:  one, they were a lie - there was no way I could make it through another decade with my kids and not tell them to clean up.  and two, this was a punishment for no one but myself.  Yes, I will relieve myself of the title of "house nag", but I will also be relieving the kids of any responsibility they might have felt to clean up.  Or maybe their rooms and toys will get so dis-ordered, so un-navigable that they will decide - on their own - that neatness is the way to go.  I can only hope...

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