Thursday, July 16, 2009

Don't


Yesterday I had one of those days where i found myself saying ‘don’t’ more times than i feel comfortable with. I am tired. My patience (and i was famous for my martyr-like marathon winning patience)has stretched thin, to a shadow of its former self. I am trying to do more things with Jed around than i have attempted before. And two and a half years of not sleeping through the night and at the tail end of a chunk of waking up at 5am. These are long long days. Magical, eye-opening, adventure ridden and creative days, but long days. Having said that, tired is no excuse for being a grinch.

Sometimes i catch myself saying ‘no’, or ‘don’t’ and rethink. Mostly i take it back and explain to Jed why. Sometimes i am channelling my mother, or society in general. Most times i am happy for Jed to explore whatever it is he has picked up. Most times i am happy to risk a potential mess for him to figure out how to open the soy milk and pour it himself, or feed the cats, or fingerpaint with spaghetti sauce. It is only mess after all. I am daily glad we don’t have carpet. This is not to say that i have no boundaries. Oh no! I certainly do. No way is there climbing or sitting on the table when there’s food on it. For one tame example. No playing ball with the cats is another. I believe children need consistent boundaries to feel safe and be able to explore fully. I try and choose a positive twist to my admonishments. It helps. I may say,’ hey, i love the movement and colours in that drawing but i would like you to draw on your paper not on mama’s manuscript next time’. For example. Ahem.

Today i asked Jed to stop running the taps (we are on rainwater here) to save water. He kept going and turned around saying ‘mama, don’t shout at me, i am only playing, i’m exploring’. And you know what? Our water tank is full. There will be no drought this winter. It did look like cutting edge play. And what he said really threw me. He totally got it. To Jed, shouting is anything other than a calm voice. My voice was over the top for the situation. It made me think hard about what tones of voice i use with him, with the rest of the world.

Hmmm. I am going to try to sit and meditate when he first goes down for his sleep. I need to step back a bit and get some perspective. I am not getting my long chunks of time to create and think and just be. But i can do this for myself. Take twenty minutes to just be. Breathe. I have been doing this since i was 12 years old. Funny how i forget what feeds me when i most need it. Having that time to sit or do tarot grounds and centres me. It helps hone my self awareness, my mindfulness again. I need to remember to check in with myself during the day and take those micro breaks of breathing deeply and just tuning in – in between wrangling poster paints and lunch.

I am thankful to Jed for the reminder.

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