Monday, October 6, 2014

Trying again...

Librarian at kids' school asked for "Selfie with my shelfie" pictures to kick off reading challenge!
This morning was a challenge. The alarm went off at 6:20 a.m. and the three of us were all snuggled under the blankets. The temperature dipped into the 30s last night so the room was freezing!

Yes, the three of us. Teresa is baby number six and the only baby ever to sleep in our bed (and not all night...only when she wakes up after 4 a.m. and I'm desperate for her to go back to sleep...quickly!). I'm counting on the fact that she'll sleep through the night after she's least that's what's happened five times before!

I also have a bad head cold. This made it even harder to get out of bed! Once I put on some heat (I could anticipate the kids complaining about getting dressed!) and some COFFEE, I was feeling better. Five out of kids woke up in a pretty good mood...despite the low temperatures.

The 6th child to wake up was a grump. She (Gianna) had lots of ailments (sore throat, sore leg, sore arms, sore neck, etc.), and she couldn't believe that I was going to send her to school anyway! The nerve...

Flashback to being a child and begging my mother to stay home. My mother was very good at discerning when we were really sick. If she determined real cause, we would get the royal treatment (no wonder we wanted to stay home!). From my father, I inherited a ton of guilt about being out of school. Even as an adult when I was teaching, I often went to school feeling terrible to avoid feeling guilty. Yes, I realize that this is irrational :).

Here's the baby who gets the extra snuggles!
Anyway, Gianna was not sick. It was just the morning grumps. I knew that a bowl of cereal would snap her out of it. Of course, "there is never any cereal that she likes in this house!" Despite her pleas, I was not going to make her pancakes or let her have cookies!

Kids have bad mornings. I am very grateful that (so far), they are usually on different mornings. Cecilia was very grumpy on Friday morning, but she was delightful and very independent this morning. Joseph was as agreeable as Joseph can be today! If there is ever a morning when they are all grumpy, I will surely write about it (if I survive!).

Gianna remained grumpy and it was torture to get her fed, dressed, teeth and hair brushed, and coat on. She did not want a kiss goodbye. I wasn't going to push it. In fact, I was very excited to see her go so that the house mood could improve (woops, did I admit that!?).

The door closed as my husband went to take the three oldest to the bus. I returned to getting breakfast for the younger kids. See ya!

And then, the door opened again. I held my breath...

Lots of soccer this weekend and I loved it because it was fall weather!! Last weekend it was in the 80s...the heat really affected the kids (and the parents on the sidelines!). 
It was Gianna. Crap. My mind was screaming, "Go to school already!!!"

No wait, she looked...nicer. She gave me a big hug as she apologized. She asked if we could try harder tomorrow morning to be nicer to each other.

My defensive instinct was to tell her that I WAS perfectly nice this morning. I didn't feel well and I was still taking care of everyone... SHE was the problem. She was snotty, rude, dramatic, unmotivated, and lazy. Luckily, I spared her the lecture because the bus was going to arrive...and I realize the power of mom's response. I did not want to be the cause of a bad day.

I hugged her back and smiled as I told her enthusiastically, "YES! Tomorrow morning is a re-do!" I wished her a great day and she skipped to the door while blowing me kisses.

I felt good about the self-control that I showed in that moment. High five to me!

But, upon reflection, I must admit that I could've done a much better job. I could tell as soon as she walked into the room this morning that she was in a bad mood so I "turned off the love."

Instead of telling her to "get over" her aches and pains this morning, I should've given her a big hug and said good morning. I could've helped her morning by laying out her clothes like I had done for the other kids (I didn't because I was frustrated with her). I could've LISTENED to her (even if it was complaining) instead of dismissing her.

Gees, I should've been the one asking her for forgiveness!!!

I thought it showed great maturity for an 8-year-old to ask for forgiveness and to try to make it right for next time. I hope that she is getting that from me. This motherhood thing is crazy hard (to quote the "Mom's Night Out" movie!), and I can only take so much before snapping. My kids hear me say that I'm sorry...a lot. I ask if we can start something over...a lot.

Joseph started calling Justin and Lucy, "The Trouble Twins." Trust fits!!!
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go rescue Lucy from older brother torture. I'm sure that he owes Lucy an apology...

but, not holding my breath that he'll show the maturity that Gianna showed :).

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