I'm on a journey to find health and happiness through a more holistic and green lifestyle.

I find the world to be abrasive. =) That is to say, I feel the need to armor myself, physically and emotionally, in order to face life. Don't we all? Maybe. For whatever reason, it has become a priority in my life to rid my immediate environment of irritating things. And I'm sensitive! So there is much work to be done. But. I have thought for a long time that the things I come in contact with every day, and the stuff used to clean and maintain these things, need to be gentle and non-toxic. I have had eczema my entire life. For a long time I just dealt with it, and accepted that sometimes it's bad, and sometimes it's not, and that it will fluctuate a lot. Gradually over time I have come to find that certain things, fabrics, cleansers, materials, are more irritating to my skin than others. Stress can exacerbate it. In more recent times, I have realized that every aspect of my life improves when I improve conditions for my skin. Hah! What a concept! Thus my (long time) interest in going green, and my more recent desire to live a more holistic lifestyle. (I think I've felt a desire for a long time to live in a harmonious way with myself, my surroundings, and nature, but didn't have a name for it.) Anyhow, this blog is a journal of my trials and errors, and basic crooked path to find a balanced and peaceful existence for myself and my family. Thanks for your interest! I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

AAaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!! (parenting)

This is how my day has gone so far.

I am woken by my son, as usual. After lying in bed for a little while, we get up. It is 6:30 a.m. My son has had no trouble at all switching to our school schedule, it seems. We head downstairs. Dear daughter has seen us, but chooses to stay in bed for a while. Good girl. 7 a.m., she comes down, too.

The kids are hungry. It's a day off from school, so I decide to make pancakes. Awesome. The kids are in to it, and help out. Each ingredient has to be added by half, so each child gets to add some. I get an ear full when my son gets to add extra stuff. She had been busy mixing, so I just handed him the stuff. Bad call, Mama. We make the pancakes, they eat. My son is "butter man" and my daughter is "syrup woman." They both do a pretty good job of this. No major catastrophes. Before I've even made my own pancakes, they are done, and have run off. My mommy brain tells me that I have a little while before I need to check in on things, so I clean up and eat. I decide that I'll put the news on while I eat. I get absorbed in a news story about the tv Brady family, and another one of those "where they are now" shows. I only watch for about five minutes. I clean my plate up, then head upstairs.

In total, less than 10 minutes has gone by since the kids left the kitchen. I walk in to DD's room to find them systematically throwing small beads, erasers and other little things out of the hole in the window screen. The hole in the window screen?? I ask DD if she made the hole, and bless her little 6-year-old heart, she honestly nods her head. I take it what all they are doing, inform her that that was not the best idea she's ever had, and go take a shower. The shower is a way for me to think through how I want to handle all of this. Before getting in, I inform her what the purpose of the screen is, and how it will now need to be replaced. "It will?" grrr.... I take my shower.

I have not raised my voice at all. I am worried about under-reacting. I inform her that I think she'll need to help pay for the new screen with her allowance. I ask the children to stop pushing things out of the hole. They have continued to work on this for the duration of my (short) shower. DD stops right away, two-year-old DS is less willing. I start to lecture DD. I add, of course, that she is modeling behaviors for little brother. (As if she is not aware of this, as if she doesn't use him in her plots!)

I inform DD that she will need to go outside and pick all of the little things out of the landscaping before she can move on to anything else. She takes this fairly well in her stride. She gets herself dressed, and heads out. DD is SLOW in most everything she does. And she is SLOW with this. I am an impatient person, but I am working very hard at not letting myself take over and just get the job done already! I pace around as she ggrraadduuaallyy moves around the bushes, picking up one bead here, an eraser over there.........argh! Periodically she picks up a stick and sticks it in the pricker bush. Then she needs to go in to use the bathroom. Etc and so forth. When she comes out, I can't take it any more, and I start to help. She has done most of it by this point. We finish up (I'm sure there are 100 more beads out there hiding) and head in.

I inform her that what I should do is take away her play date from today, but the fact is, I don't want to take that away. For one thing, it's our main plan for today, the first holiday from school. And I need the distraction! And she does, too. And the other thing is that we are getting together with her best friend, and the two of them now go to different schools. Her mom and I understand the importance of their friendship, and really want to keep them connected. So while out there, as she complained about how un-fun it was picking up the tiny little objects, I lectured that maybe next time she would remember what a drag it was picking up after herself, and maybe she'd make a different decision next time. She told me (and I thought this was cute) that she did it because it was fun, even though she had an awareness that it was not a good idea. Enter me, saying that there are many such things in life, and that sometimes the aftermath makes the fun thing not worth it, and that hopefully she'll learn to make good decisions about these things on her own. (Please, please!)

Next scene, we're in the house, and the kids are in the living room. DD asks to watch a program. DS declares he does not want to watch a program. DD picks her program, and I put it on. DS freaks, saying he did not want to watch a program. This is an old lecture, but I remind him, again, that he does not need to watch, he can choose to go do something else. Both kids seem to think that if the tv is on, they MUST be in front of it, whether it's something the want to watch or not. I hate this. I have started to limit the tv a bit. I get so sick of it. And arguing over what program to watch just seems so idiotic to me. Argue about something substantial! Give me a break!

I am hoping our play date calls soon. It's 10 a.m.

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