Need I say more……Yikes!! If you were looking for the answers, you have come to the wrong place. This is a place where uncertainty rules and I have no idea how to raise the kind of women I want my girls to be. We have three girls and some days, like today, I am struggling. We went from happy to crabby in about 0.2 seconds. It was faster than a speeding bullet. I did not even know it was coming.
We were making strawberry smoothies, part of our healthy eating during the Summer of ME. I thought everything was going fine. Hailey, 11, and Mikayla, 9, were putting the ingredients into the Ninja blender, a birthday present we got for Mikayla a couple years ago. She was on a whole cooking, making things kick. (Look into it, they are so worth it.) Again, she got those ideas from Jason, not so much me. Then all of a sudden, Hailey had that crabby, not so nice look on her face. Is she just tired?
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Nothing!!” she replied, more of a shout than a response. I think she might get the yelling from me……..
“Okay but why are you upset?” I prod, trying to be caring and patient.
“Well…..I was going to push the buttons and now she wants to and ……and……”
At this point, I am both irritated and trying to suppress a laugh. Are we actually fighting about who pushes the buttons on the blender? Her world is so bad, we are fighting about this. Clearly we need to do some real world teaching before the summer is over.
“I thought you were making the smoothies together?” I stir the pot just a little bit more. Does this make me a bad parent?
“We were, but I was going to push the buttons!!” Read the sentence with a whiny, complaining, girl tone, which is how it was said…..
“I will push the pulse button and you can push the high button” interjects Mikayla. The middle child, the constant peacemaker in our family. Perhaps a post about birth order is in our future.
“No……I wanted to push all of the buttons……Whatever just do it……” Read the last part with a sad, puppy dog tone, as if your world has just been crushed.
Seriously………..the buttons on the blender……….
I expect this to turn into an all afternoon affair of being mad and crabby at the world. Stomping around, silent treatment and the like. So I am taken aback when I hear laughter five minutes later and now they are best friends again. Five minutes after that, they are riding their bikes outside and playing with friends. Does the mood change so quickly in your house too? Now there are probably hundreds of stories like this I could relay from summers, past and present. Which leads me to question? Where do they get this from? Can I blame social media and TV for this?
Questions for you, but I already know the answers. They get a lot of it from me. I make the same whiny, complaining tone when I am irritated with something. Like when I am trying to finish mowing the lawn and Harper wants my attention to tell me a funny joke. Or when Mikayla wants to braid my hair. As I listened to my children today, I was reminded of what I need to do a better job of…….slowing down. A major focus of the Summer of ME. I have been known to get so wrapped up in what I am doing, I forget to give these little people tiny bits of my attention when they ask for it. Harper’s funny jokes (which usually don’t make any sense) take less than a minute to listen to. I can pretend to laugh and give her the satisfaction of my attention and then be on my way. I can let Mikayla braid my hair. It is going to take her five minutes tops. I look at my phone for five minutes, ten times a day. One of those can be given to her. The point is when we are more giving with our time, everyone tends to be happier.
I am not sure if this post applies to boys as well. I have no experience raising boys. I am sure they are met with their own difficulties and challenges. Friends and family with girls tell me the teenage years are at times……frustrating. I can remember being a teenager, but I am sure I was not ever disrespectful to my parents. Right mom?? The thing is, I don’t remember her talking at me, the way I talk to my girls. I am sure I only remember the positive, loving stuff. Right mom??
We are not even in the “teenage years” yet. How do you handle these times? What is the secret to not being at odds with your teenager all of the time? Or is it just a pick your battles kind of time? I am not sure if these questions can be answered, just throwing them out there for people to ponder. (But respond if you have advice.)
Challenge time: This challenge is pretty personal, so it may take you out of your comfort zone, but I am going to ask you to try. The purpose of this blog, was to make all of us realize we are not alone. When my children are arguing in the car or in the house, I feel alone. (They usually tend to act this way, when Jason is at work. Go figure.) Then I yell, see Summer of ME Update #2, to see my feelings on that one. I have received many messages from people this summer talking about how the blog connects us. However, not all of the readers get to see those comments. Here or on our Facebook page, Speaking Jelinese, share your stories, tips or memories of these times. Maybe you have a bit of information to help me or another reader if this is the stage of life they are in. I appreciate all of your likes, comments and shares, but I really appreciate your advice on this one.
Talk to you soon,