Neven had a rough day yesterday - he was easily upset by the small things, being rough with Daria, testing limits. I often think these days area result of me being distracted, in this case a non-napping Daria. I actually ended up on the floor of the kitchen in tears for a few minutes, frustrated with myself that I couldn't summon an endless supply of patience for my kids in need of just that.
I decided a "YES" day was in order. I heard about this idea about a year or so ago when a blog I was following (maybe Peaceful Parenting?) suggested seeing how many requests of your child's you can answer "yes" to (of course, dangerous requests don't count!). I expanded this idea to include me not saying "no" any more than I absolutely had to. In other words, if they aren't doing something that really needs not be done, let them be! Hopefully it will break Neven out of whatever phase he's in (or at least, was in yesterday) and remind me about priorities in life.
Neven started out his day with a snack of Goldfish crackers, while watching Finding Nemo. Then he requested a bagel with mustard for breakfast. Of course, he stayed in his PJ's all day. We built forts out of a cardboard box and the couch cushions, jumped from pillow to pillow on the floor, made handprint turkeys with fingerpaint, baked cupcakes (a test run for his 3rd birthday party) and licked the bowl. We ate lunch in a tent in the middle of the living room, and had a cupcake for an appetizer. After lunch, Neven wore his snowsuit to get the mail. While Daria napped, he and I read books and played at ABCmouse.com. The afternoon was filled with a bit of bed-jumping, kid-led independent play (which gave me some time to write this post!), some whining about me not letting him sit on Daria to "play", and some time curled up on the couch under a blanket watching some more TV (oy...). Neven ate dinner on the couch, then chose to do bathtime and bedtime normally. After the kids were asleep, I spent some time cleaning up, since I didn't enforce putting toys away all day. It wasn't nearly as bad as it sounds, and really only took me a few minutes.
What did I learn from this?
1. SURRENDER. To the idea that I AM a mom, and this is what I do. Unfortunate as it may be, my interests and to-do list needs to be on the backburner now - I'll get to it eventually (in 3 years?). I need to surrender not because I have to, but because that is the kind of mom I want to be. I want to take advantage of these years, soak up as much of my kids' childhood as I can, so I don't have any regrets!
2. He'll eat, eventually. Neven will usually sit at the table for literally an hour and hasn't yet finished his meal. No complaints to get down or that he doesn't like the food, he's just that SLOW. Today, I left his mostly-eaten bagel on the table after breakfast. A few hours later and after taking a few licks of the cupcake bowl, he decided to sit down and finish his bagel.
3. As a friend of mine once said: CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES. Wise words, indeed. I need to learn to let the little stuff go.