I feel like Carrie Bradshaw sitting in front of my laptop contemplating what life lesson I have learned this week. Actually scrap week… this hour. Life with three children doesn’t move in terms of weeks. It’s a minute by minute affair. I have so many balls in the air I could restock the nearest children’s activity centre.
So what was this milliseconds life lesson. I found it in another mother’s blog online about how we speak to our children. Well not really how we speak to them but the volume when we do. She was a teacher and she simply explained that roaring at the children in her classroom would not be acceptable. So why is it acceptable to do it to her own children. Her message was simple.
So I examined my own volume levels after reading her blog. I’m a shouter…. When I’m happy I shout, when I’m sad I shout, when I’m trying to be funny I shout and when I’m drunk I most definitely shout. In my family, you don’t wait your turn to talk, you just shout louder. We often joke about having a talking stick but then I fear what the consequences would be including a lethal weapon in our family discussions.
A recent incident with my three year old who I call my Moon really highlighted the level to which my voice can rise. He threw back the door of his bedroom so forcefully that the handle made a dint in the wall. I was mad for a few reasons.
I do not have my own home so the damage was inflicted on my mother’s home. She is gracious enough to allow myself and my brood to live there so the least we could do is leave the walls intact. I had bought a door stop in good aul Aldi to prevent such an occurrence. However my children despite the fact that their room…. and the hall…. and the sitting room… some of my room and the garden are full with their toys…. Like to play with the mother truckin door stop!
The damage occurred while my son was running away from me. There is nothing that makes you feel more like an elephant in a tutu attempting a pirouette then chasing a three year old through the nooks and crannies of a semi-d. Why must they run? They know they are going to get caught. I will chase you I will find you and I will not be happy!
Upon the realisation of the damages to the plasterboard. The fuming began. I ranted. I raved. I roared. I shouted so loud that I lost the ability to keep the saliva in between my gently aging 33 year old lips. I was literally frothing at the mouth. So much so that I shouted
‘you have me frothing from my mouth’
My son just looked in dismay. The message was lost. Once I had calmed. It took a while. I spoke to my child in a calm simple way about why I was cross over the mark on the wall. ‘you were funny’ he said to me. And do you know what? He was right.
How must I have looked to him? I was towering over him, screeching at him and showering him with overnight saliva in the process. Is this the vision I had for myself as a parent?
So I’m now making a concerted effort to keep my shouting to a minimum. It is an effort and I’m not perfect none of us are. Instead of shouting I will go to the child. I try and not shout up the stairs instead go up to them. Let’s face it the walk up the stairs will do me no harm. In return I ask them to come to me when they want my attention. It’s not always successful but I feel better that I am making the effort.
The next time saliva escapes from my lips will be because I’m looking at a picture of David Beckham.