Wednesday, July 21, 2010

tomato staking, day 3

right. progress! i love that when you make intense changes in your life, you can usually see changes pretty immediately. i have only been tomato staking for three days and i can already see sparrow's attitude toward home getting so much better.

if the first day was easy, yesterday was HARD. i wrote in the family journal, "HOW do people sustain this over a period of time?" it was HOT in the kitchen, i was cooking roast chicken, i felt i could not think or move faster than molasses... it took me about an hour to make a simple salad, i think. the girls were a bit grumpier than the day before. i tried to sit and do a craft with them while i was making dinner, but it took way longer than expected, then dinner was late, and when our neighbor came over to graciously install our internet for free, i forgot to even give him a cup of water! the mood was definitely hectic and not ...happy/serene, which is what we are going for. sorry, monty!

today was much better. i prepared myself for doing things slowly, or not doing "things" at all, if that's what it would take. tentatively, i made an agenda: finish unpacking kitchen. there were 2 or 3 boxes left. and i did get it done! that's about all i got done before lunch, but i still felt productive. sparrow still defaults to a whiny voice, but she doesn't ask to "go somewhere" every 5 minutes now or see her friend danielle. i LOVE that she has a good playmate so close by! but i still need her to be able to enjoy home first and foremost.

as for golden, we had quite a little testing of the will today! she is used to people catering to her as much as they possibly can, and she is a very happy child--as long as she gets what she wants! today she was washing her hands after one of her many, many potty trips (the girls have taken to blowing bubbles into glasses of water with their straws. this tends to make them drink a lot more water than usual. and golden is just potty training, so she needs to have someone go with her every time.) anyways, mommy said, "that's enough water, now come dry your hands." "no. play water!" and that's where it began! i am super thankful for the advice on godly tomatoes, which was going through my head: "outlast, outlast, outlast." i was so pleased that i was able to keep my composure and calm voice, and yet continue to insist that she hear me and do what i say.  i had food in the pressure cooker that i had to run and check on a couple of times, but other than that, i set myself to camp out and win this battle. i wanted her to take my hand and hop off the step stool, being DONE with handwashing, and coming to dry her hands. she stood there resisting me for so long that her hands dried on their own, but i still kept telling her to take my hand, and she wouldn't! she was mad and crying; screaming, actually, and eventually she put out both her arms to be picked up. a few years ago i would have done it, thinking, 'good, she is done hand washing and wants to come to me, that means she surrendered.' but i was able to see today, she was NOT surrendering yet. she was trying to create a situation where SHE was the one in control, deciding to be picked up and getting away with not doing EXACTLY what mommy told her to do, which was take my hand and come down off the stool. about 15 minutes later, she finally did decide to obey, and after helping her get down i did pick her up and had some lovely 1-on1 time with her sitting on the bed and looking at my belly/her future brother/sister. (although she told me it was gonna be a giraffe.) when we came back out to the kitchen, she hugged me, holding on, and she said, "happy now."

that's what i'm talking about!!!! happy girls obedient to their happy mother. but i will not be so happy tomorrow if i don't go to bed right away. so: more on T.Stking adventures to come!

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