Some days I do really well with facilitating everyone getting their needs met, and collaborating to find solutions to problems. Other days I just want MY WAY, and on those days I usually get it, but it comes at the price of joy and peace. We did well today, so I thought I'd put it here to read later and remind myself.
This morning, E and I looked at our flow chart and we talked about our day. We prayed and I did my Bible study, then ate breakfast, and then I started cleaning up the house, while the girls painted and colored. I got some of the cleaning done, but not everything I wanted to, before E wanted me to play with her. I looked at my long to do list and my messy house, and almost told her no. But instead I chose to play with her and read to her.
After a while, D wanted me to drive him to the store (he can't drive right now). Sometimes we get in this rut of picking up a few things at the store one day and then needing to go again in a few days. It drives me nuts, because I hate shopping! I want to shop once a week (or less), with a list, get in and get out. Yesterday, he wanted to go pick up one thing, and it led to this big argument. Today, I decided to just go and enjoy it. And I did!
He did most of the shopping, while E and I walked around and talked. A few days ago, she said she wanted brownies. I didn't have the ingredients or the time then, so today I asked her if she still wanted them. She did, so I picked up what I needed. Then she saw a frozen pizza and wanted that. I don't like the ingredients in those pizzas, so I offered to make her a homemade one. D thought that sounded good too, so we got everything we needed. Then E wanted a huge block of cheese. I reminded her that D was already getting shredded cheese for the pizza, but she wanted *her own cheese.* The block was expensive and orange (milk is not orange people, that's chemicals!), so I suggested string cheese instead. She loved that idea!
I had told her when we first walked in the store that she had $1 to spend on whatever she wanted. Sometimes I give her $2 or $3, but the budget is tight right now. So, first she wanted candy from the bulk bins, and after some careful consideration, she decided on chocolate orange sticks. Then after a while, she changed her mind and wanted lip gloss. It was a pack of 10 with no price on it, so I told her that it probably cost more than $1, and we would find out when we went to pay. Then while we were looking at toothbrushes, she saw some lotion she wanted. It was a big $5 bottle, so I told her that was more money than she had, but we would see if they had some little ones. She looked at the travel sized ones, but decided the lip gloss was better.
When we got to the register, the lip gloss turned out to be $7, so I told her we'd have to put it back, but we could find some other chap stick. While the cashier was ringing up our other things, E and I ran back to the isle with the lotions because I thought the chap stick might be there. Instead, she chose a travel sized lotion. We were just about to hand it to the cashier, when she decided she wanted candy again. So, I told her to grab one from the checkout counter, and we asked the cashier to put the lotion back. Right as we were about to pay, she said she wanted the lotion instead of the candy. I didn't want to bother the cashier with voiding the candy, so I said that we'd just get both.
It probably sounds hectic, but really it was slow and full of discussions and questions and answers. It took time and energy, but it's well spent! I'd much rather use that time and energy to help her learn and figure out solutions, while we laugh and play. Otherwise I'd be using the same amount of time and energy just saying NO we can't afford it, NO you don't need that, NO I don't have time, NO I JUST REALLY WANT TO BE SELFISH RIGHT NOW, SO NO!
So, with all this collaboration and choosing to do things for my family, do I ever get what I want? Yep! When we got home, L was sleeping. E was happy with her purchases and had gotten a good fill of my attention between our play earlier and the shopping. D fixed us all lunch and played with her and they watched tv together. I got most of my to-do list done, and then played on the computer. Now she's asking to lay down for a nap, and while she sleeps I'll probably finish cleaning the house.