Since I have made the commitment to stop yelling, something interesting has happened.
I have become much more mindful of how I speak to the kids.
And consequently, I experienced another revelation…
There are two words I overuse with the kids:
No and later.
Those two words pretty much automatically fly out of my mouth before the kids have even finished asking me a question.
So focusing on how I was communicating with the kids led to me inadvertently focusing on what I was communicating to them.
It probably sucks to be told No, not now and maybe later over and over and over again.
In fact, it might suck so badly that you would do things like this:
This being mindful shit is exhausting.
But also eye-opening.
So, after about two days of not yelling and then another two days of realizing I was no-ing and later-ing my kids to death,
I made another commitment.
I will say yes to something every day.
Not necessarily something huge.
Number 4 acquired this book somewhere from someone.
I have no idea where it came from or who gave it to her.
But she’s been kind of obsessed with it and has been begging me daily to make one of the “mask” concoctions in it.
It’s just a mixture of oats and yogurt.
Every night she asks,
“Mom, can we make that mask tonight? We have all the ingredients. Please? Pleeeeaaase Mommy?”
Of course I give her the same answer every time.
Or I instill some false hope with a
So two days ago, she asked for like the 37th time.
This time, I said yes.
She looked at me like I was crazy.
“Really?!?! ” she squealed.
“Yep,” I told her. “Why don’t you get the ingredients and mix it up?” I asked her.
She almost fainted.
And then she got right to work, afraid I might change my mind.
We all pulled our hair back, and I started the mask application.
Number 7 could not believe I was encouraging her to smear food on her face.
Once we were all masked up,
I did the girls’ nails.
And then, to take it one step further, I dried their hair.
With an actual hair dryer.
I have NEVER done that.
All in all, it was about a 30 minute commitment.
And worth every second.
Number 4 is still talking about it.
So yesterday, on Day 2 of Project Yes,
I caught myself again with the no-ing when Number 6 and 7 asked to go swimming.
At 7 a.m.
Before they had even walked all the way down the stairs from their room.
The “What? Now? N-” started to escape my lips.
And I caught myself.
“Sure,” I told them.
Again, I got the crazy look.
“Go put your bathing suits and swimmies on,” I told them.
They upped the ante…
“Can we go naked?”
Resisting the NO! urge, again, I told them
“WE CAN GO SWIMMMMMMMIIIIIIINNNNNNGGGGGG!” they yelled. “NAAAAKEEEEEEDDDDDDDD!!!!”
And they did.
They were so happy.
And so was I.
All because of one little word.
VOTE ! VOTE! VOTE ! VOTE! VOTE ! VOTE! VOTE ! VOTE!
I’ll keep writing, you keep voting!