I made curry for dinner tonight. It turned out to be too spicy for the children, so after they had their second helping of rice they scrambled out of their seats and ran into the living room to push each other in the stroller (Stroller in the living room? Don't ask.). David and I let out a sigh. We tried to keep them in their seats for a little while, but really dinner tonight was just so much more pleasant when it didn't include the entire family.
"I just want you to be happy, but you seem miserable," David said.
Miserable wasn't quite the word I would have chosen. But I was unhappy. These past few days have been really difficult. I tried to think hard about why.
"You know, it's much easier for me to be patient with the kids when they're not whining. I can talk to them, play with them, read to them, whatever...but when they start whining, It just breaks down all my defenses. It's like torture. The CIA should ban whining!"
"Maybe we should start disciplining them for whining."
So we told them. We told them about how our house had turned into an unhappy place because of their whining and that there wasn't going to be any more of it. This was their warning. The next person who whined was "in for it."
This decision made me feel a lot better. I suddenly felt like I was in control of the house again, rather than it swirling through chaos.
A little while later Perry pulled me into the living room to play with him. I had such a weight lifted off me that I was able to really have fun with them. I sat on the sofa while they jumped on me and tumbled off. Then Perry had the good idea of sliding down my outstretched legs onto the floor. They must have done this for ten minutes. It was really a riot--for me too. These are the moments I love. These the ones I want to have more of and remember. Hopefully, with our new household rule, we'll have more of these moments and less of the whining children and yelling, stressed and bummed out mommy.
2 years ago