When I woke up this morning and saw that schools were closed again, I have to admit to being pretty excited. Who knew that, as a parent, I'd be more excited for snow days than I was as a student! Today's snow day was a bit more warranted, though, so we stayed in for the most part. There was a lot of wind which meant a lot of blowing snow, as well as a fair bit of ice coating everything (and not in the, "oh look how pretty" way, either, cause the sky was gray gray gray :P). After breakfast, we spent a fair bit of time cleaning up the playroom in the basement. A few weeks ago, Maya was having an extremely defiant day and I was having an extremely low-on-patience day, so when she refused to clean up her toys I packed up several boxes and put them in the laundry room, out of reach. She pretended to not care (even had the audacity to *help* pack up the boxes, which only made me more frustrated!) and since then has not mentioned them. So, imagine my surprise today when I pulled out the boxes today and she was SO EXCITED to get her toys back! Now mind you, my children are NOT short on toys. Like they have entire shelves brimming with toys, as well as a well-stocked train table AND art table (that used to be a coffee-table-with-storage, in our kid-free days :P). So it's not like she didn't have a million other things to play with (which is why I kinda thought she had forgotten about the ones that were put up). The first thing she did was to tell Charlotte that they need to take better care of their toys, and that they should start by emptying the boxes and putting the toys back on the shelves. That's right, folks, she cleaned. Voluntarily. It was her own idea. I pretty much passed out on the floor, stunned. And then of course I helped her clean, because oh my goodness she was cleaning voluntarily. And you know what? For the rest of the day she was not only in a good mood, but she was nice to her sister (!) and took a nap with Charlotte and I without complaining or wiggling or talking (!!) and after dinner and bath even said, "ok, Mommy, it's time for bed" (!!!). Don't worry, I'm not delusional enough to think that this is the new normal :P But, I do think that Maya is benefiting from all the time we are
being forced choosing to spend at home.
After cleaning up, we had a pretend picnic (with the play food and dishes that had been banished to the laundry room). At dinner time, when we did our "what was your favorite part of the day" game, she said that the picnic with her sister was her favorite thing. Oh my. Yes my heart melted into a puddle.
In the afternoon, after naptime, both girlies helped me make "pumpkin" muffins (and pumpkin is in quotes because it was actually butternut squash ~ gotta make-do with what you have!). They turned out delicious, and I'm pretty sure the girls would have eaten the whole batch if we'd have let them!
Finally, after dinner we had chocolate cake. Why? Because it was a snow day, that's why.
For the past several weeks we've all kindof been in a funk, what with the gross weather and busy schedules and NO SUN AT ALL (thank you NE Ohio), and I've seen the effects in the kids. There has been more fighting and more yelling (from me) and more general ickiness-in-attitude all around. But yesterday and today were just so so fun ~ it reminds me of something I read a long time ago in a marriage book. I'm going to do a terrible job paraphrasing, but basically it said that, if you want to see if you are doing a good job in your marriage, just look at your spouse's countenance. I'm realizing that it is the same with being a parent ~ if I want to know if I am doing a good job, I need to really look at my children. Are they happy? Do they smile and giggle and seem carefree? Or do they frown and sulk and whine? I'm not saying that children only whine when their parents are being terrible (because oh my goodness I would be winning the "worst mom of the year" award right now!), but in general I feel like if I am doing a good job, it should show on my kids' faces. Lately there has been a LOT of whining and fighting and crying and general discontent, and we have gotten stuck in a cycle of MORE whining and MORE fighting and MORE crying. But, today showed me that we can break the cycle! Y'all ~ Maya was smiling in pictures! On command! I'm not saying that tomorrow will be perfect and that my kids will never whine again (although that would be an amazing miracle and I'm not saying I would be unhappy with that at all!) ~ I am just reminded that if I put in the effort to be happy and play with the kids and give them the attention and the love that they are craving, we can all enjoy ourselves a bit more :)
I will leave you with the prayer that Maya said at dinner tonight:
"Dear God, we have so much to love you, and thank you for making us, and that was so polite. And dear God, please make Isabella to feel better. Amen."
|Sierra, this picture is for you :)|
|Doesn't she look so grown up here? AND bonus ~ she (unintentionally) matched her clothes!|
Playing "Memory" before bed:
|Caught in the act!|
|This *might* be my favorite picture of Maya and I ever.|