I had a talk with hubby last night and it emerged that much of my stress is in my head alone. I always tend to get stressed by thinking hubby would be annoyed by the behaviour or actions of the children, so in order to prevent him being annoyed, I yell at the kids instead!! This yelling, it turns out, is more annoying to hubby than the behaviour of the children! AND he expects the children to be children, he is charmed by our daughters snarky attitude and wiseacre comments. He is amused by her free thinking~ness and also amused by Jack's "curiosity" and boy~ness!!! Hmmm. All this time I was running around like a headless chicken trying to stop them being themselves so that Daddy wouldn't be annoyed.... and a) that was more annoying and b) he wasn't bothered at all!! :D
SOOO today we tried things a bit differently! :D I tried to stay very laissez faire about everything. I told Jessie she didn't have to ask permission for so many things any more. She knows the way things are here and she knows the way I feel about things. She should feel free in her own house to get a drink, get snacks, leave the room (I'm kidding!) without asking permission. She asked if she could have some gum. I HATE gum. She knows this! :D We have some gum that is all natural and I don't mind that... it's supposed to be actually GOOD for her teeth and I was seen chewing some, so I knew she'd want some too.... OK, the new way...
"You don't have to ask me any more, Beans. If you want some, get some!!!"
She looks confused.
"If you want some gum, please just help yourself. Only ask me permission for things that are more serious...."
" sooooo...... can I have TWO pieces!?!??!" she asks!!!!!!!!!!!! GAH!!! This is going to be harder than I thought, but for BOTH of us!! LOL!!
Later in the day I noticed Jack opening the cupboard under the sink and taking out the furniture spray polish. He was muttering to himself and I heard him say "Cweeeening"!!! Uh oh. This gets messy!!! I leaped up and asked him if he was going to help me clean!!! He proudly said YES!! so I offered him my feather duster!!! What kid could resist a feather duster!! ( Yes, it has purple feathers if you were wondering!!) so he happily dusted for some time... but the call of the spray polish proved to be too much, so I handed him the dust rag, showed him how to spray the can and took him to a VERY DIRTY wooden table!! 'D Have at it, kiddo!!! ;D Looks like I can go with Jack's flow pretty easily!! :D
At this point I do have to brag.
Today I had a migraine headache which was getting steadily worse and I was fresh out of Excedrin Migraine. ( the stuff rocks!! ) I held out as long as I could but even Jessie could see I was in a bad way. "You ought to go to bed" she offered!! Bless her!!
Jessie had spent the day studying China. She decided she wanted to be able to write Chinese, and so went off from there! : D She had chosen to have Sushi for dinner. I put the rice cooker on, laid out a packet of tuna and some Mache greens.....and I headed up to bed!!! Jessie and Jack made dinner themselves!!!! I came down as they were getting it ready and I offered to help but it was unnecessary! They had it covered! ;D Jack had a new "recipeeeeeeee" he wanted to try and so I put his stuff in bowls on the floor and let him have at it! He added salt, pepper and Dorothy Lynch dressing to his meal and apparently it was darn tasty!! They did such a great job today of letting me sleep and of taking care of things.... There was no yelling, everyone was well behaved and I made sure to talk to them kindly and respectfully rather than bossing them about like minions!! It worked well !!!
(This has mostly arisen from the latest chapter in "Parents Please Don't Sit On Your Kids" where the author points out that we speak terribly to children but we speak kindly to strangers!)
We'll see how tomorrow goes!! :D