Sounds like I started Orange Rhino at the perfect time. Today, I am supposed to track my triggers. Those things that make me want to yell. So here goes.
Third snow day in six days. That doesn't sound like much, unless you consider that 2 of those days that weren't snow days were weekend days. So 5 out of the last six days finds the 5 of us together. In a house that is super small, thanks to my need to downsize. My 2000s kiddos don't know what to do with themselves. They are bored. They don't like to clean. They don't like their room. They don't like their toys. They don't want me to clean their room because they don't want me to get rid of said toys that they don't like. BUT I let them run amok the first two snow days. They built forts and brought most of their toys into the living room and watched tv and played outside, etc. Then the weekend brought the hysterical non-yelling, toy trashing fit I wrote about yesterday. Yesterday was just B and me, so I crafted, feeling suddenly creative. But today, cleaning MUST happen. I realize the four people who live with me don't see a mess. They don't see the clutter. They don't see the floors that need swept, the dishes that need done, the toys that need picked up, or the laundry on the floor. But normal people do. I do.
I warned them early that I would be cleaning. The hubs took notice, then reminded me I should have it clean a day earlier than I originally said. Brave. That man.
I fixed the pipsqueaks b & g at their request for breakfast. Then I sat down and watched the last half of two different half hour shows that I tried to watch over the last few days but didn't get the entire half hour watched. That is when all **ll broke loose. B at some point dumped an entire brand new bottle of shampoo because he "wanted to". A wanted to watch a show, but I told them both to go to their rooms and clean. A started whining saying she didn't want to clean, or pick up toys, or do what I said, or...well you get the picture. She went on and on for several minutes. She was bored, she wanted to do what SHE wanted to do not what I wanted her to do. Because all I do is watch tv and craft.
BAM. In what normally would have been the start of a yelling match, I decided to try and remember not to yell (thank you Orange Rhino) and decided to love her more than an argument. I simply silenced her, then explained how we grew up in the 70s. No 200 channels on television (eyes wide), no Internet (eyes a little wider), no Xbox (eyes even wilder and almost panicked now), no Kindle (that about did her in). We had to use our imagination (I promptly explained what that was) and we colored and painted and played games and played with our siblings and played outside and weren't wusses about it. I am sure at this point my mother is gagging and laughing and rolling her eyes. But this is what I remember about the 70s. I sent little girl to her room. Where she picked back up her tirade of not liking anything. I calmly went to her room and spanked her behind. Yeah, I spanked her. 70s style. Deal with it.
She got smart finally and got quiet. A little while later, B started to paint and I invited A to join him. Little Ms Sunshine came out and painted and she has been just fine since then. We are doing 70s day today. No television. No sassing. No games. No Kindle (I hid hers). No Internet for those under 16. They have painted, and taken the sheets off their beds, and read books for 20 minutes, and played. And off and on all day, they will do chores. Not huge ones, but chores. It won't hurt them. And maybe, just maybe, they will find their imaginations before the end of the day.