I feel like I entered motherhood with my eyes wide open. I knew it was going to be sleepless, and hard, and make me want to cry at times. But just like labour (which I went into expecting hell, but not realising hell could be quite so bad!), it's a tiny bit more of each of these than I imagined! Fortunately, I also realised motherhood would be fabulous, exciting and full of love, and it's more in each of these ways than I imagined too! :)
Today was not like these latter experiences. This morning when I was on the phone, Maggie and Ana emptied two candle jars full of these -
- tiny granules, all over our lounge room. Not just the floor - onto shelves, into books (seriously, they opened books up, poured granules between pages and closed them again! - who does that?!!!), all through the folded laundry, everywhere. This has happened before to a smaller degree, and they've been talked to and I've vacuumed them up. But I'm really trying to teach the girls using natural consequences instead of punishments. So in this case, the natural consequence would be to have to pick them up. After a good half hour of the girls picking them up and replacing them, one by one (with a few 'I wonder what Mum will do if I tip this partially filled glass jar of granules back onto the floor' moments along the way), and the floor looking pretty much the same, I got down to help them. An hour later (with lots of 'I should have just vacuumed these up! - This teaching method had better work!!!' moments), we finally finished, phew! What a waste of time!! - or, fingers crossed, a great learning experience!!
Then I went to change the baby, and the girls went into the kitchen and started turning the oven knobs to 'on' and going into the pantry. I came out and talked to them about not touching the oven knobs (we have a gas stove so there are 5 different knobs which make gas come out! This is not the first time we've had this conversation), and asked them not to play in the kitchen. Then I got a phone call from a friend, who was telling me about something I could look up online, which I did. After a few minutes I heard the girls back in the kitchen, so I went in there, and found them covered in green food colouring, which they'd removed from the pantry.
Cranky Mummy (who had been sooo patient during the 'granules over the floor' part of the day) came out, bathed the girls, put them to bed (she was so cranky they went straight to sleep, which they never do for 'patient and kind Mummy' - sigh! - where's the incentive, girls?! lol..) and scrubbed the green food colouring from the floors, walls and cupboards. I then noticed a funny smell and realised they'd turned the oven on - eek!
I have to confess, I've always imagined I'd be great with children going through the 'terrible 2's' etc. It's just a phase, you know it's coming, and they're just innocent little children, who don't know any better.
Except that they DO!!! Maggie knew that everything she did today (and we all know none of it was Ana's idea - she is the most loyal, obedient little sister I've ever seen!) was wrong! She did it on purpose!! Sigh!!
So even though I thought I'd have the 'terrible 2's' thing completely handled without raising a hair, I'm finding lots of hairs raised, and at an alarming rate!!!
I texted James and told him briefly of my woes. He didn't reply (he didn't even see the text until well after school!). I felt down and thought, "I just wish he'd come home with flowers and chocolates and told me everything was okay!!", so just in case he couldn't read my mind (and it turns out most people can't, sigh), I texted him to let him know. I was delighted a while later when he showed up with a beautiful bunch of roses and an assortment of chocolates (including an Easter Bunny, because we all know that chocolate made into the shape of an Easter Bunny is way better than normal chocolate! :)) - it's so great when I just tell James what I'm thinking instead of trying to will him to read my mind! Works out well for both of us ;)
When the girls got up we had a long talk. And a much better afternoon. And James got this in an email and showed it to me to cheer me up.
You may laugh, but the idea's not half bad!!! :)
I thought I could, I thought I would find it easy to be patient through 'terrible' childhood phases, but I have a LONG way to go!! It's so great the way you love your children so much, so that there's enough love for even when they're driving you crazy, don't you think?! :)
And I'll try not to dwell on the fact that Maggie just poured out a few more granules over the living room floor tonight before bed - I'm sure that hour and a half on her knees taught her something, right?
Deep breaths!!! lol :)