Lately I have been feeling like I have been telling the boys 'no' a lot. It's not that I really mean to, I just haven't been in the mood to scub paint off my kitchen table and it's ten times faster if I just make lunch myself. However, I recently heard a pretty inspirational story about a mother who started saying 'yes.' Honestly, I am sweeping the floor five times throughout the day anyways, what is one more time?
So today I said yes. It's not that I let the boys walk all over me, but I did give them some freedom that they don't always get. It may not sound like that big of a deal, but for someone who has some OCD tendencies, letting a 12 month old 'sort' beans is a pretty big deal. The boys and I spent some really good quality time at the kitchen table and it was so rewarding, I think for all of us. Parker was playing with beans.. Pouring, dumping, counting, sorting, you name it. I saw that he was about to use the bigger container and try to dump it into the smaller one.. The 'normal' me would have thrown myself across the table to stop the giant mess that was about to happen, but instead I took a deep breath and watched it happen. Once the smaller container was full, Parker, seeing that there were still more left in his big container, tried to add some more. They immediately fell all over the table and all over the floor. He made his usual 'eek!' face and at that exact moment I felt horrible. I don't want him to think that he will be in trouble for every mess that he makes. Yes, of course, I don't want him running around TRYING to make messes, but if it happens on accident there is nothing wrong with that. I told him that it was ok and that we would just have to work together to clean it up when he was all done. He looked shocked. No reprimand for making this giant mess? I continued by telling him that I understood it was an accident and that it is ok to make messes every once in while. Then he said, 'Momma, I didn't mean it. It made a mess because this one (pointing to the big container) is bigger than this one (pointing to the smaller container) and they couldn't all fit.' Wow! I don't know if it is just me, but I was so proud of him at that moment that he could have dumped that whole container over my head and I wouldn't have cared. He figured it out all on his own. I didn't say a word about the differences in sizes, I just sat back and let him teach himself something. And it felt wonderful.
After the fun of the beans wore off, I asked him to go get his broom so he could help me clean them up. I was expecting him to get a bean here and a bean there, but HE turned it into a competition of who could get more beans. (I still won by the way... I can't let these kids completely walk all over me. Ha!) so not only did he learn from his little experiment, he picked up his mess, with no complaints. It was so amazing to see my little man grow up like that.
Sidenote, yes.. I know I have been gone for some time, so sorry!
*And I am in my beloved iPad and I can't figure out how to add my signature, so for tonight...