Wednesday, 31 October 2012

teaching appreciation?

Is it possible?

My kids act like spoiled brats. They ARE spoiled brats.

And I don't know how that happened. Is it that slippery of a slope to spoildom? Most of what I put in front of them to eat, they whine.

Every night at bedtime, Sebastian has a meltdown.

If as a special treat, I get some ice cream popsicles, Sebastian complains because he wants another one.

When I re-arrange my whole day, bend over backwards to get them to a birthday party, with gift in hand, and ready to play, they come home and have meltdown after meltdown.


I do think that experience more than words is the methodology of choice when it comes to learning. But what am I supposed to do, starve them so they appreciate my meals? Throw away all their toys so that they appreciate the abundance in their life? Do nothing for them so they understand how much time and effort I expend to make them happy? Telling them that most children in the world don't have half of what they have is useless, they can't conceptualize things they've never seen. So what am I supposed to do?!

I can't wait until I can send them on a service-learning trip - send them do some hard labor in a poor country where people with a fraction of what they have are happier and more generous. But alas, they are 5 and 4 years old. It will be a few years yet.

The only thing that keeps me going is that when they are out and about, they are absolute angels - they are only spoiled brats with me. As they say, a true measure of whether a parents is doing a good job is the way they act and behave when they're out in the world.

So maybe I AM doing something right.

Crossing my fingers, that's for sure.

Monday, 29 October 2012

the joy of ironing

Alas, it has happened. I have begun ironing.

It happened suddenly, out of the blue, caught me completely off-guard. It was a combination of seeing SAHM neighbor/southern Italian mamma/friend quickly fold all my laundry on a play date one day this past May, along with a newly renovated and spacious downstairs bathroom with our washer and dryer in one convenient place...

I couldn't help it. I had visions. A long work table. A mini-closet to hang up shirts that are still a little moist. The iron always out on this table.

Now I'm hooked. I can't stand putting clothes away without giving them a quick swish with the iron. I get annoyed when hubby does the laundry (cuz he is still adamantly anti-iron), because they get put away all wrinkly.

I iron underwear. T-shirts. Bibs. Sheets. Jogging pants. Pyjamas.

And I find it calming, therapeutic. It gives me a sense of peace, when everything around me screams chaos. Incredibly, I feel like I have gained an insight into the minds and souls of millenia of mothers who have wasted - or so I thought - countless hours trying to straighten clothes for the sake of some beholder who actually gives a s**t about what our clothes look like.

And you know what the secret is?

It is the joy of seeing a wrong righted. Taking the ugly and chaos of wrinkles, and making them beautiful and orderly. Something all mothers want so desperately to do with our homes, our children, our marriages: take that one little temper tantrum, that one little refusal to eat vegetables, that one little spilled glass of water, one little misunderstanding with hubby, and with a powerful swish of our hand, make it all go away.

Once I was blind. But now I see.