the kids took turns kicking and jabbing me awake and there wasn't any coffee in the house. (and by no coffee, the wife usually makes it for me as i'm not allowed to touch the espresso machine because she is afraid i will break it. and she was at work. tea just doesn't do the trick in the morning.)
i refuse to grumble grumble grumble away this opportunity to collect my thoughts and find some sense of serenity before awaking tomorrow to the grind of a regular work week (+ parenting drama + housekeeping + other miscellaneous responsibilities). so i won't.
i will also say that the mouthy, argumentative, and insistent nature of a certain aries 4-year old (who eggs on his little sister to do inappropriate things) does nothing but fuel the fire.
disciplining requires discipline itself: rigour, consistency, a willingness to be both repetitive and practically unforgiving. rudeness is unacceptable. violence will not stand. blatant disobedience masquerading as ignorance cannot be tolerated. all of which are hard lessons, even for grown-ups. but it's in these early years that these lessons have to stick. there needs to be consequences - as much as there needs to be many opportunities to start again and make better choices.
the measure of my success in parenting isn't so much the hopes and dreams i have for my children. their lives are theirs to live. their hopes and dreams are theirs to own entirely. my intention is simply to give them roots and wings to fly. my success in motherhood lies simply in the fact that on most given days, when in trouble or doubt, happy or sad, brave or afraid - that both my children allow me an opportunity to be there. i want the honour of having a place in each of their lives - not out of obligation or need - but out of a sincere desire to stay connected to me.
i've been struggling with the lines that blur kindness and discipline. when does my willingness to forgive become an open invitation to be bullied by the impetuous reflex desires of a toddler or two?
is the answer simply to summon up more patience? take an extended (more than 5 hours) break from parenting? permanently extricate the television from existence in our home?
there are good days and there are bad days. the weekend was peppered with some good and much bad.
|photo taken by the wife|
i love my children. it's my job to teach them right from wrong. it's my duty to influence the choices they make while in my care. and i will
|photo also taken by the wife|
i love myself, too. i am human. i have limits. and for my children to respect the boundaries of their strengths, i have to stand up to my own weakness for their little hearts. for my children to respect me, i will have to be ruthless about showing them what it means to respect myself.
hard lessons indeed.
"isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is another day with no mistakes in it yet?" - lucy maude montgomeryhere's to a clean slate and a peaceful start to the week for all of us.