Some days require deliberate searching. You know the days I mean… the ones where one thing after the next happens till all you want to do is hide under your blanket and hope that the next day is better. Usually on days like that I end up posting about it on facebook in my ladies’ group (the members of which consist of my mom, my sister, and my sister-in-laws). When I get all of my “Why me?!!!” exclamations out, I try to then end the post with the positives of the day, which I head up with ‘The Plus Side: …”.
I started this Plus Side business after a particularly fractious day. Week. Maybe even a month… I don’t remember. Anyway, I was sitting there in my doom and gloom, feeling like a terrible mother because I’d ended up yelling at the children quite a few times that day, and wishing my kids would stop their naughty behavior so that we could get back to being a happy, normal family.
I’m sure some of you mother’s out there have had days like that.
I was sitting there, moping, and I recalled a thing Sackett Man and I learned during a marriage counseling session. Way back when, when we were young and somewhat newly married, we found that the same trouble and problems kept popping up. Okay, they were wreaking havoc. Sackett Man and I are complete opposites… he’s a man of action, and I’m a word person. I would tell him how much I loved him, how wonderful he was, handsome, etc., etc., but I HATED doing dishes and vacuuming. So I would leave them, not till last minute, but I would push doing them out a little. He, on the other hand, would whip through the house vacuuming, mopping, folding laundry, doing dishes, taking out the garbage… but when it came to TELLING me, he would instead tell me everything I hadn’t done. Needless to say, it was turning ugly. We got counseling, which helped us see so many things and how to work at them… it was unbelievable… and honestly, now, YEARS later, I couldn’t imagine being married to anyone but him!
I digress. The point of that was, one of the things we learned was the 5-1 ratio. In that it takes five good things to make up for one bad. So, if at all possible, have at least five things to say throughout the day that are positive and uplifting and encouraging to the one negative thing.
So I took a deep breath, there in the middle of my brooding, paused in typing to my four confidants, and I closed my eyes. I looked back through the day, deliberately looking for the good things. I typed them out, and by the end of it I was feeling a million times better and I could see, much more clearly, what kind of a day I’d really had. Was it a good day? NO. But it wasn’t the precursor to my kids blowing up the house and running wild, either. It was just a normal bad day with a teething infant and two crabby boys.
I’ve been doing that ever since.
Which brings me to today.
This morning started with my eldest telling me “I’m going to throw up!”
Oh no! I thought, my eyes flying open in a panic as I threw myself out of bed. Not again!
See, just a month ago, the stomach flu had run through our house with much abandon and glee. Twice in two weeks.
For the next hour and a half there was tense anticipation as he waited in the bathroom for the inevitable.
In the meantime my second child and I were relegated to the downstairs bathroom as we got ready for the day.
And… the toilet plugged. I fought with it. I argued with it. I got it free.
It plugged again.
I argued more. I attacked it viciously and with great courage, plunging away as I warned it “You don’t want my husband to come home! He’s a plumber… you know what will happen if he has to deal with you!”
The toilet stuck the proverbial tongue out at me, and the bowl filled to the rim… and stopped. The threat was clear: One more move and I spill over!
Point taken. I backed away and shut the door.
Roman, now realizing that he was not sick but had mistaken his stomach ache for SERIOUS hunger pains, happily ate his breakfast and the day commenced. Which of course meant that Rosemary cried when I didn’t hold her, and then when she was content to play on the floor she spat up all over it and proceeded to play in it with every toy she could get her hands on. My boys tried to play with the cars, but ended up arguing over who got to put what car down the ramp. They switched to a puzzle, which soon had James throwing the pieces around and Roman having a temper tantrum. Time for a bathroom break: one boy forgot to aim, and the younger one, still in training, took off his own diaper and went on the floor.
(I’m taking a deep breath now.)
The Plus Side:
The boys set up a blanket between our two couches to create a ‘tent’. I made them a snack-lunch in their two lunch boxes, turned on a nature thunderstorm album on my computer, and for the next two hours they adventured and imagined till I could almost see the the world they were in myself. It was amazing and wonderful.
Rose sat in her swing and played peek-a-boo with me while I folded laundry. This week she’s into tossing her head back and forth as she giggles, which is a hilarious sight.
Rose took a thirty minute nap.
I got a basket of laundry folded, and another one in the washing machine.
The dishwasher is half-emptied. (I hope to get to the other half soon.)
I have a cold, which means I get to indulge in my favorite thing: Tea with lemon juice and elderberry syrup. The perfect tonic for a sore throat.
Sackett Man texted me that he loved me. 🙂
Outside, while in the negative digits, is beautiful and white with softly falling snow.
And I’m finally having lunch, which consists of two fried eggs (runny, of course), wilted greens in butter, a leftover homemade biscuit, and topped with the leftover cheese-sauce my husband had made over the weekend.
Seriously, it’s so good! He made breakfast on Saturday, of eggs and toast and this amazing cheesy sauce that is fantastic. He layers it all, tops it with the sauce, and sprinkles it all with dill.
That’s my Plus Side for a day that didn’t start great, but is getting better.