Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spilled Milk

Last Wednesday morning, Jackson spilled his cup of milk inside the refrigerator as we were walking out the door for the day.

Thursday morning, he spilled his bowl of cereal milk in his lap and on his chair and on the kitchen floor.

This morning (Tuesday), he spilled his milk on a stool and trash can behind his chair.

I sent him to time out so I could clean up the mess and fume about three! days! in! a! row! of spills. Once I calmed down (time out is sometimes more for me than for him), I walked over to talk to him about these recent spills. The first time I tried to talk, he got mad (I think he was ashamed) and rolled away from me and wouldn’t face me. I walked away to give him more time. The second time, he growled at me while I was talking. The third time, he gave me got rigid legs and whining. The fourth time, there was eye rolling but we worked through it eventually.

After 30 minutes of time out (four attempts at trying to parole him), we walked to the kitchen table where I had set up props so he could practice carrying his bowl from the table to the sink without spills. We spent five minutes practicing, and then went back to the morning routine of packing lunches and bags. THIRTY-FIVE MINUTES TOTAL.

As he packed, I rested my forehead on the back door and prayed for patience. I had a moment of clarity and finally realized why I always feel like I never have enough time: it’s because the time I do have is sucked away in attempts to teach my monkeys how to act like civilized human beings.

So when you come to my house and there are crumbs everywhere, and we’re eating microwaved chicken nuggets instead of a real cooked meal, and there are toys strewn about, AND the floor is sticky from all the spilled milk… know it’s because I’ve spent my time raising productive members of society instead of trying to be a housekeeper.

This parenting thing is so exhausting some days. Sheesh.

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