Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The strength to change the things I can, to accept the things I can't, and the wisdom to know the difference...

I have recently come to the conclusion that many aspects of parenthood fall squarely into the realm of having the strength to accept the things I can't change, and having the wisdom to know what they are.

The following are examples:

1. No matter how much catsup I place on a plate, there will never be enough to cover all the chicken also placed on the plate. It does not matter if there is more catsup by volume than there is chicken. She will always ask for more.

2. I will always have to cajole, remind, and threaten to get her to brush her teeth.

3. Chores and work requests will never be greeted with a cheerful "Sure Mom!". There will always be whining, and likely a long face.

4. If I am on the phone, there will be an immediate need for conversation, whenever I am on the phone, regardless of how hard I have worked to insure all needs are met prior to getting on the phone.

5. Apply statement number 4 to any time I am in the bathroom.

6. Listening will only occur immediately if the context of my statement is pleasant, such as, "Who would like ice cream?". All non pleasant or mundane statements will need to be repeated at least once.

7. If Oliver is asleep or entertained, and Marlena is asleep or entertained, and I think I may have a few moments to myself, the dogs or the cats will need:
a. food
b. to go outside or have the litterbox changed
c. attention

Once all the pets needs have been met, either Marlena or Oliver will no longer be asleep or entertained. (There will be a few hours in the evening when this is not true, but I will somehow squander these hours on nothing important.)

I am sure I will discover more examples of things that cannot be changed as my children grow, and I am sure these things will change as they do. I think I need to have the wisdom to recognize these things as they come along, let go of my need to change them, and breathe. If I can do that, maybe there will be more smiles and less frustration.

5 comments:

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Actually, I was thinking about the phone thing the other day and have decided that I am going to make Caitlin write all requests/needs/bizarre statements out while I'm on the phone.

The other option is to continue what I'm currently doing which is to ask her just what she thinks this "thing" I am holding is called, what I am likely doing with is and how I will no longer talk to her as I am currently talking with someone else. Sarcastic? Yes. Relatively effective. But I'm hoping the notepad will retrain her behavior entirely, because it will keep her occupied writing out what she wants instead of bugging me.

I may just be deluded. I'll let ya know.

Scylla said...

Please do, I am interested to see if that helps, so I can follow suit.

Da said...

When it comes to the repeating thing, remember the corrollary: The parent doesn't really get pissed off until he/she has to repeat it for the THIRD time. Thats when I toggle onto the Voice of God.

Adrienne said...

What about mommy and Marlena special alone time. no errands just a walk to the park or something.

Valerie said...

A friend told me about having special phone toys for the boys. Don't know if it would work for older kids, but if there are things they are only allowed to play with/do while you are on the phone then maybe they will be occupied for several minutes. In. a. row.

It could happen...

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