This evening, as a reward for completing all of their chores, I allowed my four girls to make a pre-made out of the box cheese cake. At my house, this is no small task to be taken by the weary. You see, every girl has to have a fair and equal job or I hear about it until the end of my life. But, we went over the rules ahead of time. This is what I told them:
Ok-This is baseball-Three strikes and your out! In other word’s I am going to only warn you 2 times on the third, you are out of the game.
I need to hear four YES MAAMS! They less than enthusiastically agree, but agree none the same.
I love to let my now older girls (8,9,11,11) cook as much as they can on their own with supervision. So, I sit at the bar and read them the directions as they gather the ingredients, measure and stir. I direct each child to share tasks at specific times and I notice one in particular getting an attitude. Oh, that is a warning 1. Whoops, she did it again, that is warning 2. I am thinking to myself, and I bet you moms out there do this too, why is she pushing me like this? We just started cooking. She is going to be outta the game before it even started. I direct them all to go get spoons to take turns stirring. They ALL run. And the child who already has 2 warnings makes it there last. Ut-oh. She storms off crying. The 11-year-old!
You know what I say?
At least shut your door if you’re gonna cry so loud.
Maybe that is a terrible mom thing to do, but I mean come on it was cheese cake.
To my credit though. I gave her 5 minutes to cool down and then asked her to come down stairs to go talk in my room. I wanted to get to the root of what was really going on. Obviously, this was about more than cheesecake. I found out that she needed more alone time and was having a hard time finding time and space for that. She had time and space for alone time, but did not know how to use her resources well. As a growing pre-teen, she obviously has a lot of things going on in that little brain of hers too that we needed to discuss. I took this as an open door opportunity. She kept saying:
It’s not fair that my sisters got to stir the cheese cake first! I don’t get to do what I want to do….and kept going on and on about it!
And I simply told her that she is in such a rush to grow up and wants to be so big she needs to learn that life is NOT ALWAYS fair and very rarely do I always get to do what I want to do. Life is sometimes about compromise.
Then, (and this is where it gets GOOD), I told her to pretend to pick up a piece of TRASH! She was hesitant, like roll your eyes in the back of your head at your crazy mom kind of hesitant, but after some convincing she did it. I took her into the bathroom, lifted the lid to the TRASH CAN and told her to throw away what she was holding onto.
I could see it click with her then. I tried to talk some more about it, but she was not having it . I call it my dead horse, I beat it sometimes. Do you have one of those? She did not need any more words. She got the concept. She walked outta the room and went to have some quiet time. Ahhhh……successs!
So, what do you need to consider throwing in the trash? Something you have been holding onto for a while? Could it be guilt, pride, broken relationships or just a bad day….anything really. It is all about just leaving it behind and starting on a fresh foot. And not beating a dead horse.