February 7, 2011

Mindful Monday

I'm going to attempt to add another day of blogging into my week: Mindful Mondays.  Sometimes I'll talk about when I got it right, and sometimes when I totally blew it.  I want it to be a weekly feature, but if most of my Mondays are anything like today, it'll be a challenge.  I'm also not sure how much of the inner workings of my mind I want to throw out there for the world to see.  I used to be a lot more open, but somewhere along the way I decided to pull back.  Oh well, I'm rambling.  On with the post.

It just so happens that my mindfulness moment actually happened today.  Let me show you something.

This is the inside of the spare room closet.  It's not much of a spare room right now; more like a Wii room.  My cousin gave us his old t.v. and we moved the game system in there to minimize the begging (out of sight, out of mind), and the noise when they are playing.  It's worked out well, except that apparently it's a little too easy for the girls to occupy themselves with activities unrelated to the Wii.  While B and I watched the Superbowl commercials last night, the girls were drawing murals on the walls.  It might have taken me weeks to even notice this except that Funny Girl's guilty conscious kicked in and she told me about it this morning.

I was mad.  Mad might be an understatement, but I hesitate to use a stronger word because in hindsight it seems so disproportionate to the event.  However, at the time I was M.A.D.  This is not the first time the kids have written on the walls.  In fact, it seems to be hardwired into their DNA, because they've all done it several times.  I've done all the stuff parents do to stop it.  I've taken the markers, threatened, punished, and yelled.  I've also gotten down to their level, calmly explained why we don't do this, and admired their work while enforcing the "we write only on paper" rule, etc. etc.  Nothing but age seems to really stop this, at least not in my house.  I thought Funny Girl had outgrown it, and it was her involvement that really made it such a big deal for me.

So I didn't handle it well.  First I get on to Robotson because I had specifically asked him to clean up the markers in that room.  When he didn't clean them up, I did, but apparently one of them pulled them back out.  Even as I was talking to him about the "this is why I wanted them cleaned up" stuff - I knew I wasn't being reasonable.  He had nothing to do with it since I'd put them away myself.  My brain finally kicked in to tell me to let him be.  Talking about it really did not help; I was feeling worse.  It seemed like the only option was to take all the markers away!  Except I locked the closet that they go in, no one knew where the keys were, and I had no where else to put them.  I'm really worked up now, but at least I'm in my room where I should have gone in the first place.  I finally remember that breathing deeply might be a good idea.  I need about ten minutes, but the kids are knocking on the door in two.  Not yet calm, I go out into the living room and sit in front of my computer.  Here's where my mind splits in two.

Part of me wants to yell at the kids for:  drawing on the walls, not cleaning up their own messes, not giving me a few minutes peace.  Part of me is realizing that none of that matters now because it's all in the past.  What can I do right now?  I've got visions floating in my head of gathering all the kids up to go to Home Depot where we pick out paint colors and make lemonade with this lemon day.  I breathe.  I decided the Home Depot plan is worth a try, and we go.  Only picking paint colors on the fly is a really bad idea with three kids.  I can't decide, so we leave.  I don't want to go home though because I'm irritated again so we drive down to Ingles to get gas since I'm running on fumes.  Then we might as well pick up my library books, and it is happy hour at Sonic....

Robotson sees a train and asks me to take some pictures, so I do.  On the way home, I make an impromptu turn and we go down a street none of us has ever been on.  When it dead ends, we take another new turn.  Eventually, it seems like we really should head back; we have to pick up dog food on the way.  At Petsmart the kids wish they had a cat, Robotson lifts Dimples to look at all the fish, and Funny Girl ooohs over the guinea pigs.  We stop to look at the betta fish and a woman asks us if we need any help.  Robotson explains that we had a fish, but it died and wants to know what we could have done differently.   We leave with two betta fish, another tank, and the dog food.

When we get home, I forget about the walls and we set up our new pets:  Jesse Dora and Tron Punk.  Later I remember to look up some paint colors.  I think we'll still go through with that plan.  The kids want to go with an aquamarine on the walls.  It seems like a good choice to me too.  Maybe I'll have some pictures to post on Friday.  I know I didn't do it all right today, but I'm glad that I did a little.  I certainly feel better than I was feeling this afternoon.


  1. Hi Sara: this eddy (acurately on IG ) Jes let me read your blog . I can't imagine raising 3 kids. I'm sure theres joy and laughter along with stress, but we are only human, and dramatic moments affect us. It's tough being a parent..but there's no avoiding it. So just wanna wish ya good luck to u and your little ones. It's a pleasure to see a day in the life ..if I don't see ya here , I'll see u on IG 

  2. The way you stopped and realized that the past was done and you focused on the here and now, wow. I admire that. You did make a lemonade day after all :)

  3. Hey Eddy! Having three kids is mostly good times, but yeah it gets a little crazy sometimes! Thanks for leaving a comment :)

  4. Christin - it's taken a lot of practice to get here, but I do find it happening more often these days. Sometimes I ignore myself though. LOL I gotta work on that part :)

  5. Ahhh....Sarah. My life right here. As usual right? Camille STILL writes on the walls, the tables, my books. It still drives me mad which is INSANE as you know it's been going on for three years and well I should have a handle on it by now. You did good! Wish I could channel that sometimes.