Whine: Morning and I do not get along. We never have. Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of waking me up can attest to that–I once hit a girl who tried to wake me up on a long road trip (So sorry, Carmen). And yet, thanks to the magic of parenting, I no longer need an alarm clock.
Cheese: Despite an early-morning wake-up call, I haven’t hit anyone. Today. (Poor, poor Mr. Dad.)
I hate waking up so much that my mother used to come in my room blowing a whistle and banging to pot lids together like cymbals. And after I finally stumbled into a darkened bathroom to take my shower, I’d lay a towel on the floor and catch a few more minutes of shut-eye before my mom figured out that the shower wasn’t actually running and came back with her homemade marching band.
And here I am, a mother myself now. But I definitely have the opposite problem. These kids don’t need clanging cymbals to rouse them in the morning. The fluttering of a moth’s wings two doors down is sufficient. And forget about trying to use the bathroom between the hours of 5 and 7 am (which happens frequently when you are up with little babies) unless you want really crabby company for the rest of the day.
But mornings aren’t all bad. The fact that Brother Bear woke me well before 7 is the only reason I have time to blog today. So even though I grunted and scowled my way through the first few paragraphs, I’m almost glad to be awake. (It’s still before 9am; let’s not push it.)
That’s what we’re working on these days. Replacing cranky, whiny, stinky attitudes with gratitude. And the kids are working on it, too. At first there’s definitely a little more emphasis on the grrrr. But as we keep flexing our thankfulness muscles, finding the good stuff gets a little bit easier every time.
The other day, I wanted to try out this handy new reframing habit. I could hear the sisters were bickering in the back of the car. I couldn’t completely make out the words, but the tone was enough to inform me of their malicious intent. So I interrupted them and told them to each say something nice about the other.
Big Sis looked over at her beloved sister and said, in all seriousness, “Lil’ Sis, I like the way you have snot running out of your nose.”
In a related story, Christmas is a total beatdown for parents. Not just because of the hustle and bustle and teetering around financial pandemonium. But because of the challenge of teaching our kids to be content with a house bursting with toys and games they mostly don’t play with, despite the fact that they desperately need a whole ‘nother house filled with MORE toys and games for them to use once then ignore.
Which leads to pretty continuous conversations about what everyone else has and how much and how we can never be happy because she has the super-deluxe-edition dolly and I only have the regular-deluxe-edition one. Isn’t life SOOO unfair? And right as I’m schooling my sweetie that the best cure for a raging case of envy is to find all the good stuff you already have, I catch myself drooling over the souped-up 2011 minivan with all of its hubcaps that is driving by.
So I guess I’m thankful that I have kids that force me to face the sad, five-year-old state of my heart so we can learn contentment together. Or should I say grrrateful?
*Come back Monday for Part 2 of this post. Two posts in a week? Now that’s something to be thankful for.