There are three squashed grapes under the dining table.
I am choosing to ignore them.
The first few weeks back at school have been fast and furious. Settling into the new routine of school and kinder (preschool), early mornings, and giving up the long lazy days where you felt you had time for everything. These days I am lucky to have time for half the things on my list, and by 5pm everyone is difficult, and whiny and cranky.
I know that the worst thing I can do when the kids loose it is to join in and loose it too.
I know that they need to see me deal with meltdowns in a calm and quiet manner so they can learn how to do that themselves.
I know that I need to ‘set the tone’ for my family.
I also know that often we are like a set of precariously balanced dominoes – when one goes down the rest of us quickly follow.
So often lately I have failed at the whole ‘setting the tone’ gig.
So often I have lost my ever loving little mind right there along with the kids.
So often I have regretted it and promised myself I would do better.
Sometimes I manage it.
And sometimes, at the end of those long, fractious, cranky, squashed grape kind of days, I don’t.
But I’m going for majority rules here.
I am not perfect, and I will never be perfect. I will loose it sometimes, and sometimes I won’t. My hope is that if the majority of moments in the day are filled with happiness, fun, and love, then that’s what is important.
It is also important for my kids to see me make mistakes. To see me have a tantrum, and then pick myself up and get on with things.
And there lies the light bulb moment that’s has recently occurred for me.
I don’t need to stay mad at my kids.
I can get angry, it’s ok to be angry.
Sometimes I am even quite justified in my anger. I can deal with my anger well, or not so well. I can rant and rave and set limits and explain consequences…
But when it’s done, it’s done.
I don’t need to stay furious with my girl for hacking at her hair (again!). She knows how angry I was, how disappointed I was. She well knows the consequences of her actions (now please let her remember the next time she gets the urge for a fringe). We’ve talked it through, now it’s done.
Let it go.
Don’t let the anger over that one thing colour the rest of my interactions with her. That’s not fair and it’s not the message I want to send to my kids.
It seems so obvious now.
Why did it take me so long to figure it out, to see what I was doing?
And yet there it is… along with the squashed grapes under my table.
I am learning to let it go.