A little means a lot

I picked up the girls from school today and thought about the crucial C’s as I drove them home. How would I find the time and energy to focus on the C’s on top of all the regular stuff I have to do? And then still find down time for myself as well? I had no idea.

The good news is that I actually do have more time lately just because of all the things I’ve stopped doing for them that they can do for themselves. During our transmorgrified mornings, for example, half the time I find myself standing around, wondering what to do with myself. So this morning I took advantage of it. When Charlotte was ready for the bus five minutes early I said, “Hey look! We have time to play balloon bop!” (one of her favorite games). So we bopped a balloon back and forth in the kitchen until it was time for her to go. She loved it.

But this afternoon I felt tired and a bit overwhelmed. We pulled into the driveway and Ellen and Charlotte hopped out right away. Fenner lingered while I got my stuff together. “Mom, why did you have to have Charlotte? … And why do you love her so much?” I paused and considered how I might respond. “Mooom, you’re not answering my question. … I heard someone say Charlotte was a mistake.” “Well, they were wrong,” I said. I could feel the potential for this conversation to quickly take a wrong turn. Distraction, I thought. Need to change the tune. So I said, “I’m the one who was a mistake. I was a whoops!” “So why did Nana have you?” “Well she thought since she’d already started making me, she might as well … “ “Have another kid? Well good thing she did!” And on that note, we went inside.

Coming in the house I found it hard to think about the C’s. Bills to pay, laundry to do. Ellen and Fenner glued to their Nintendo DS. But then I thought about how I used humor to redirect that conversation with Fenner and how it completely changed the tone between us. I’m actually good at humor. I like making people laugh. Some people think I’m hilarious. But it dawned on me that I don’t show that side of myself to the girls all that often. I’m too busy or too tired or too worried about their fighting, etc. So maybe that’s where I need to start. I’ll commit to being more playful and using humor as much as possible. Just that, I’m pretty sure, would go a long way toward creating a more connected family.

Jerry got home and starting shooting hoops with Charlotte in the driveway. Happy clams out there. Meanwhile I was doing dishes and Ellen came over and said something to me – I can’t remember what. Still doing the dishes, I hip-checked her. She laughed and hip-checked me back. I turned off the water and dried my hands. Then we started copying Charlotte’s karate moves and making karate sound effects together. Fenner joined in and we played a kind of karate/tickle/chase game that went on until bedtime. We had a blast, and the happy energy lingered and seemed to make everything just a little smoother.

Come to think of it, the girls didn’t have a single major fight tonight. Hope-and-change, here we come…

Explore posts in the same categories: Week 6: The Crucial C's

2 Comments on “A little means a lot”

  1. Jena Strong Says:

    Hip-check, happy energy, everything smoother = a winning recipe. So funny – I just wrote a blog post about the four C’s, which we covered in more depth tonight in class. It is wonderful to read about your family’s experience. And you should’ve heard Vicki raving about your blog!

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